Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childhood obesity linked to math performance, researcher says

Date:
June 14, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Children's weight is associated with their math performance, a new study shows. When compared with children who were never obese, boys and girls whose obesity persisted from the start of kindergarten through fifth grade performed worse on the math tests, starting in first grade. Their lower performance continued through fifth grade.

Childhood obesity has increased dramatically throughout the past 40 years and has been tied to many health problems. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that children's weight is associated with their math performance.

Related Articles


"The findings illustrate the complex relationships among children's weight, social and emotional well-being, academics and time," said Sara Gable, associate professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, who led the study.

Gable looked at more than 6,250 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample. The children were followed from the time they started kindergarten through fifth grade. At five points in time, parents provided information about their families, teachers reported on the children's interpersonal skills and emotional well-being, and children were weighed and measured; they also took academic tests.

When compared with children who were never obese, boys and girls whose obesity persisted from the start of kindergarten through fifth grade performed worse on the math tests, starting in first grade. Their lower performance continued through fifth grade. For boys whose obesity emerged later -- in third or fifth grade -- no such differences were found. For girls who became obese later, poorer math performance was temporary.

In addition, for girls who were persistently obese, having fewer social skills explained some part of their poorer math performance. For both boys and girls who were persistently obese, feeling sadder, lonelier and more anxious also explained some of their poorer math performance.

"Our study suggests that childhood obesity, especially obesity that persists throughout the elementary grades, can harm children's social and emotional well-being and academic performance," Gable said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sara Gable, Jennifer L. Krull, Yiting Chang. Boys’ and Girls’ Weight Status and Math Performance From Kindergarten Entry Through Fifth Grade: A Mediated Analysis. Child Development, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01803.x

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Childhood obesity linked to math performance, researcher says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082627.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, June 14). Childhood obesity linked to math performance, researcher says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082627.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Childhood obesity linked to math performance, researcher says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614082627.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins