A study by researchers from universities of Strathclyde, Georgia, and Bristol has linked obesity in adolescent teenage girls to lower grades in school. This is certainly the most comprehensive study linking obesity and education to be published on International Journal Of Obesity with BMI of 6000 children aged 11 measured.466 girls were classified as obese and they achieved relatively poorer results at age 11, 13 and 16 years when compared to those of a healthy weight.
The obese girls scored D in core subjects such as English, Maths and Sciences compared to the average grade of C among other children.However, the study couldn’t find similar link between academic attainment and obesity among boys.
‘There is a clear pattern which shows that girls who are in the obese range are performing more poorly than their counterparts in the healthy weight range throughout their teenage years,’
said Dr Josie Booth, of the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee.
‘Further work is needed to understand why obesity is negatively related to academic attainment, but it is clear that teenagers, parents, and policymakers in education and public health should be aware of the lifelong educational and economic impact of obesity.’
said Prof John Reilly, University of Strathclyde, the Principal Investigator of the study.The researchers took into account potentially distorting factors such as socio-economic deprivation, mental health, IQ and age of menarche (onset of the menstrual cycle) but found these did not change the relationship between obesity and academic attainment.