Perception of overweight is associated with poor academic performance in US adolescents.

Division of Emergency Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.5). 11/2011; 81(11):663-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00642.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To improve understanding of the mechanisms affecting the relationship between adolescent obesity and poor academic performance, we examined the association of overweight or perceived weight status with academic achievement.
We performed a cross-sectional study of 14-17-year-olds (N = 11,012) from the nationally representative 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The main outcome measure was self-reported grades (mostly A, B, C, D, or F). The primary independent variables were medically defined overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), and participants' perception of their weight status.
Medically defined overweight youth were less likely to report higher grades in unadjusted analysis (OR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.60-0.76, p < .001) and after adjustment for demographics, depression, television and video game use, and physical activity (OR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94, p = .003). Statistically significant results also were seen with medically defined obese participants. Youth who perceived themselves as overweight were less likely to report higher grades (OR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73-0.92, p = .001) in unadjusted analysis and after adjustment for the same variables (OR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.68-0.91, p = .002). The perception of overweight was a more significant determinant of academic performance (OR 0.81, 95% CI: 0.69-0.95, p = .012) compared to medically defined obesity (OR 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, p = .174).
Perceived overweight status is negatively associated with academic performance, regardless of actual weight status. These findings suggest that perception of overweight may be a mechanism for prior results indicating a negative association of obesity and academic achievements, and have implications for the academic health of these adolescents.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to examine differences in socio-demographics and health behaviour between Belgian first year university students who attended all final course exams and those who did not. Secondly, this study aimed to identify weight and health behaviour related correlates of academic performance in those students who attended all course exams. Anthropometrics of 101 first year university students were measured at both the beginning of the first (T1) and second (T2) semester of the academic year. An on-line health behaviour questionnaire was filled out at T2. As a measure of academic performance student end-of-year Grade Point Averages (GPA) were obtained from the university's registration office. Independent samples t-tests and chi2-tests were executed to compare students who attended all course exams during the first year of university and students who did not carry through. Uni- and multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted to identify correlates of academic performance in students who attended all course exams during the first year of university. Students who did not attend all course exams were predominantly male, showed higher increases in waist circumference during the first semester and consumed more French fries than those who attended all final course exams. Being male, lower secondary school grades, increases in weight, Body Mass Index and waist circumference over the first semester, more gaming on weekdays, being on a diet, eating at the student restaurant more frequently, higher soda and French fries consumption, and higher frequency of alcohol use predicted lower GPA's in first year university students. When controlled for each other, being on a diet and higher frequency of alcohol use remained significant in the multivariate regression model, with frequency of alcohol use being the strongest correlate of GPA. This study, conducted in Belgian first year university students, showed that academic performance is associated with a wide range of weight and health related behaviours. Future studies should investigate whether interventions aiming at promoting healthy behaviours among students could also have a positive impact on academic performance.
    Nutrition Journal 12/2013; 12(1):162. · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine the association of physical fitness and obesity with academic achievement and the independent association between fitness and academic achievement after controlling for relevant confounders such as age, parental education, and body mass index in school aged children. Cross-sectional study including 893 schoolchildren, aged 9-11 years, from Cuenca, Spain. Data were collected from September to November 2010. We measured academic achievement (mean of the grades obtained in several core subjects), physical fitness (cardio-respiratory fitness, muscular fitness, and speed/agility), weight, height, and parental education. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the probability of being in high quartiles for academic achievement after controlling for potential confounders. Overall, academic achievement scores were positively related to fitness levels. Obese boys had lower scores for academic achievement than overweight or normal weight boys. Good cardio-respiratory and speed/agility levels were associated with high academic achievement after controlling for confounders (OR 3.06; 95% CI, 1.35-6.91; P = .007 and OR 4.25; 95% CI, 1.91-9.44; P < .001, respectively). Academic success is associated with higher fitness levels. Schools should consider strategies to improve fitness as part of their overall strategy for improving academic achievement.
    The Journal of pediatrics 03/2014; · 4.02 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently the special attention is given to psychological aspects of childhood obesity in overweight and obese children. The present pilot study aims to investigate the association of obesity and lipid profile with school performance among Iranian students.
    Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorder. 08/2014; 13(87).