Perception of overweight is associated with poor academic performance in US adolescents

Todd A. Florin*, Justine Shults, Nicolas Stettler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To improve understanding of the mechanisms affecting the relationship between adolescent obesity and poor academic performance, we examined the association of overweight or perceived weight status with academic achievement. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 14-17-year-olds (N = 11,012) from the nationally representative 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The main outcome measure was self-reported grades (mostly A, B, C, D, or F). The primary independent variables were medically defined overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), and participants' perception of their weight status. RESULTS: Medically defined overweight youth were less likely to report higher grades in unadjusted analysis (OR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.60-0.76, p < .001) and after adjustment for demographics, depression, television and video game use, and physical activity (OR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94, p = .003). Statistically significant results also were seen with medically defined obese participants. Youth who perceived themselves as overweight were less likely to report higher grades (OR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73-0.92, p = .001) in unadjusted analysis and after adjustment for the same variables (OR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.68-0.91, p = .002). The perception of overweight was a more significant determinant of academic performance (OR 0.81, 95% CI: 0.69-0.95, p = .012) compared to medically defined obesity (OR 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, p = .174). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived overweight status is negatively associated with academic performance, regardless of actual weight status. These findings suggest that perception of overweight may be a mechanism for prior results indicating a negative association of obesity and academic achievements, and have implications for the academic health of these adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-670
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume81
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

Fingerprint

adolescent
performance
Obesity
academic achievement
Body Mass Index
Weight Perception
Weights and Measures
Video Games
Pediatric Obesity
Television
computer game
Risk-Taking
Academic Performance
risk behavior
cross-sectional study
television
Cross-Sectional Studies
Demography
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Exercise

Keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Child and adolescent health
  • Emotional health
  • Health
  • Health policy
  • Mental
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Florin, Todd A. ; Shults, Justine ; Stettler, Nicolas. / Perception of overweight is associated with poor academic performance in US adolescents. In: Journal of School Health. 2011 ; Vol. 81, No. 11. pp. 663-670.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: To improve understanding of the mechanisms affecting the relationship between adolescent obesity and poor academic performance, we examined the association of overweight or perceived weight status with academic achievement. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 14-17-year-olds (N = 11,012) from the nationally representative 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The main outcome measure was self-reported grades (mostly A, B, C, D, or F). The primary independent variables were medically defined overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), and participants' perception of their weight status. RESULTS: Medically defined overweight youth were less likely to report higher grades in unadjusted analysis (OR 0.67, 95{\%} CI: 0.60-0.76, p < .001) and after adjustment for demographics, depression, television and video game use, and physical activity (OR 0.83, 95{\%} CI: 0.74-0.94, p = .003). Statistically significant results also were seen with medically defined obese participants. Youth who perceived themselves as overweight were less likely to report higher grades (OR 0.82, 95{\%} CI: 0.73-0.92, p = .001) in unadjusted analysis and after adjustment for the same variables (OR 0.79, 95{\%} CI: 0.68-0.91, p = .002). The perception of overweight was a more significant determinant of academic performance (OR 0.81, 95{\%} CI: 0.69-0.95, p = .012) compared to medically defined obesity (OR 0.90, 95{\%} CI: 0.77-1.05, p = .174). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived overweight status is negatively associated with academic performance, regardless of actual weight status. These findings suggest that perception of overweight may be a mechanism for prior results indicating a negative association of obesity and academic achievements, and have implications for the academic health of these adolescents.",
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Perception of overweight is associated with poor academic performance in US adolescents. / Florin, Todd A.; Shults, Justine; Stettler, Nicolas.

In: Journal of School Health, Vol. 81, No. 11, 01.11.2011, p. 663-670.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Perception of overweight is associated with poor academic performance in US adolescents

AU - Florin, Todd A.

AU - Shults, Justine

AU - Stettler, Nicolas

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N2 - BACKGROUND: To improve understanding of the mechanisms affecting the relationship between adolescent obesity and poor academic performance, we examined the association of overweight or perceived weight status with academic achievement. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 14-17-year-olds (N = 11,012) from the nationally representative 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The main outcome measure was self-reported grades (mostly A, B, C, D, or F). The primary independent variables were medically defined overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), and participants' perception of their weight status. RESULTS: Medically defined overweight youth were less likely to report higher grades in unadjusted analysis (OR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.60-0.76, p < .001) and after adjustment for demographics, depression, television and video game use, and physical activity (OR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94, p = .003). Statistically significant results also were seen with medically defined obese participants. Youth who perceived themselves as overweight were less likely to report higher grades (OR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73-0.92, p = .001) in unadjusted analysis and after adjustment for the same variables (OR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.68-0.91, p = .002). The perception of overweight was a more significant determinant of academic performance (OR 0.81, 95% CI: 0.69-0.95, p = .012) compared to medically defined obesity (OR 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, p = .174). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived overweight status is negatively associated with academic performance, regardless of actual weight status. These findings suggest that perception of overweight may be a mechanism for prior results indicating a negative association of obesity and academic achievements, and have implications for the academic health of these adolescents.

AB - BACKGROUND: To improve understanding of the mechanisms affecting the relationship between adolescent obesity and poor academic performance, we examined the association of overweight or perceived weight status with academic achievement. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 14-17-year-olds (N = 11,012) from the nationally representative 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The main outcome measure was self-reported grades (mostly A, B, C, D, or F). The primary independent variables were medically defined overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile), and participants' perception of their weight status. RESULTS: Medically defined overweight youth were less likely to report higher grades in unadjusted analysis (OR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.60-0.76, p < .001) and after adjustment for demographics, depression, television and video game use, and physical activity (OR 0.83, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94, p = .003). Statistically significant results also were seen with medically defined obese participants. Youth who perceived themselves as overweight were less likely to report higher grades (OR 0.82, 95% CI: 0.73-0.92, p = .001) in unadjusted analysis and after adjustment for the same variables (OR 0.79, 95% CI: 0.68-0.91, p = .002). The perception of overweight was a more significant determinant of academic performance (OR 0.81, 95% CI: 0.69-0.95, p = .012) compared to medically defined obesity (OR 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, p = .174). CONCLUSIONS: Perceived overweight status is negatively associated with academic performance, regardless of actual weight status. These findings suggest that perception of overweight may be a mechanism for prior results indicating a negative association of obesity and academic achievements, and have implications for the academic health of these adolescents.

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