Obesity and School Performance


Does obesity affect your school performance? Your weight shouldn’t determine your intelligence but it somehow affects your school performance. Obesity increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many other medical problems, but does it also increase risk of doing badly in school?

In a study with 6,250 children ranging from kindergarten to the fifth grade, researchers found that children who were obese scored lower on math tests than non-obese children. With a sample size that big, it should be no coincidence. The study considered many other factors that could possibly cause the lower scores including family income, race, parents’ education levels, etc. However, it still showed a strong correlation between obesity and worse test scores. Studies also show that obesity can affect your child’s school performance as early as kindergarten.

There is a strong correlation between obesity in girls and school performance than obesity in boys. On the contrary, obesity in third – fifth grade boys have almost no to very weak correlation to their school performance. Is this because girls tend to be judged more by their weight, or perhaps they are more self-conscious about it?

Just because you are fat doesn’t automatically mean you are not going to do as well as another classmate who is slimmer than you. There are many possible reasons why obese children do worse in school. One possible reason is because they miss more school days than other children. Another study suggests that children who see themselves as overweight do worse on tests than children who don’t perceive themselves as overweight. This suggests that academic performance correlates to self-esteem and other psychological factors, not pounds. A study shows that obese children have lower levels of self-esteem.

According to Robert Siegel, M.D., excessive weight may affect a child’s intelligence at a cellular level because obesity causes inflammation and other health problems. Another reason why obesity might get you a lower math score is that obesity may have resulted in neglect due to irresponsible parents. If parents don’t care about their child being obese, they might also not care about their academics.

In conclusion, obesity does affect school performance. This is because obesity usually comes with lower self-esteem which affects learning. Obesity also may cause children to go to school less. However, none of this directly means that if you are fat, then you won’t do well in school. Obese children can do just as well in school than any other child. All you have to do is study.

2 thoughts on “Obesity and School Performance

  1. Olivia Erb

    This was a great read. Obesity definitely corresponds with school performance and I think it especially does in college students. It’s a big change going from high school to college, you’re on your own, you can do what you want, eat what you want, and if you want to you can exercise. As we all know students also drink a lot in college and all of these things lead to gaining weight. In order to succeed in school and work you need to have a pretty steady routine and college students don’t get that. Here is a pretty good article about obesity leading to poor school performance: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2012/06/can_being_overweight_affect_childrens.html

  2. Zachariah Watkins

    Great article, coming from a small town in Georgia one thing that always went hand in hand with each other was obesity and lack of care, most of my friends come from the same family as me. Mother and Father who care about our grades and general well being, however some of the kids at my school tended to be obese and when you met their parents it almost seemed like they did not care one bit about their child’s physical or mental health. How do you suppose we combat the rate at which childhood and teenage obesity is occuring?

Leave a Reply