Childhood Overweight and Elementary School Outcomes

This study examines the link between childhood overweight status and school outcomes (academic achievement, teacher reported internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, social skills, approaches to learning, school absences, and grade repetition) between kindergarten entry and end of the third grade.

  • Moving from not-overweight to overweight between kindergarten entry and end of third grade was significantly associated with reductions in test scores, and teacher ratings of social-behavioral outcomes and learning among girls.
  • Boys who became overweight had significantly fewer externalizing behavioral problems, but more absences from school compared to boys who remained normal weight.
  • Implications of this study suggest a change in overweigh status during the first 4 years in school is a significant risk factor for adverse school outcomes among girls, but not boys.

Datar, Ashlesha. and Sturm, Roland. “Childhood Overweight and Elementary School Outcomes.” International Journal of Obesity. 30 (2006):1449-1460.

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