How Does a Child’s Weight Influence Her Math Abilities?
Time, Alexandra Sifferlin, 06/15/2012
While we have no proof as to the value of these findings, the information provided in this article is certainly worth reading. N’Zinga Shäni, OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc
Obese kids face a multitude of social and health problems, and now a new study from the University of Missouri finds that being overweight may even affect kids’ performance in math.
Being overweight or obese in childhood can put kids at risk for several health problems later in life, such as heart disease, sleep apnea and diabetes. Add to that list trouble in school, says a new study in the journal Child Development.
The research team looked at a nationally representative sample of more than 6,250 children who were participating in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort. The children were tracked from kindergarten through the fifth grade.
Kids who were persistently obese, beginning in kindergarten, scored lower on math tests taken starting in first grade through the end of the study period, compared with kids who were never obese. For kids who became obese later, the effects varied: boys who become obese later, like in third or fifth grade, experienced no dips in math scores. Girls who became obese later showed temporary lapses in math performance.
The findings held, even after researchers accounted for other factors that may affect kids’ weight and academic performance, like race, family income and mother’s education and employment status.