Obesity in girls is associated with lower academic performance throughout the course of adolescence, compared with peers who have normal weight, according to a new British scientific research. This is the largest study done to date on the relationship between obesity and performance of adolescents at school. Researchers from the Universities Strathklaint, Dundee and Bristol, led by Professor John Riley, who made the date of publication in the International Journal of Obesity issues International Journal of Obesity, analyzed the data on nearly 6,000 children, correlating their grades in school their weight at ages 11, 13 and 16 years. Of all children, 72% were weighted normal for their age, 13% were overweight and 15% obese.
The analysis showed that obese girls as a group systematically from 11 to 16 years had the worst academic performance in relation to their classmates with normal weight. The relationship between obesity and school performance was not equally clear in boys with extra weight. The worst performance of obese girls were all core subjects and on average, representing a level score of D compared to C. One of the researchers, Professor of psychology Josie Booth stressed that there is a clear trend showing that obese girls, during the whole of their teens, are doing worse in school than their peers with healthy weight.
Riley said that further research is needed to determine why obesity is negatively correlated with school performance especially of girls, but noted that students, parents and teachers should be aware of the problem. Note that the survey found only a correlation between obesity, grades and not by a cause, effect and that this relationship is not necessarily true for all obese girls. Finally, it specifies that the body mass index is considered normal below 25, while showing an overweight man between 25-30 and obese above 30.
By Nicole P.