Teenage girls who are a healthy weight get better results at school

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She-Ra
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#1
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#1
A study published today today has focused on the academic attainment of girls who were considered to be obese at 11 (based on data of 6000 girls).

Girls who were obese at the age off 11 achieved lower grades than their peers of a healthy weight over the next 5 years. The research was carried out by Strathclyde, Dundee, Georgia and Bristol universities.

Girls studying towards core subjects such as Maths, English & Science scored an average of a D unlike their healthier peers who achieved a C.

The link between overweight teenage boys and academic achievement was less clear.

Diet affects every bodily function so is this really a surprise? Does this fall in line with you are what you eat?

What other factors in the teenage girl's lives could impact on their studies?
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Rob da Mop
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#2
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#2
Educational achievement and obesity are also quite strongly linked to social class/parental income/stable home life etc. I'd be quite interested to see how they managed to exclude that many variables.
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the bear
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#3
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#3
slim girls tend to be middle class ?
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Blackacre
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#4
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#4
(Original post by She-Ra)
What other factors in the teenage girl's lives could impact on their studies?
Low self esteem caused by bullying (over weight and appearance) could lead to pupils having less self-confidence overall, including in their academic ability.
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She-Ra
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Rob da Mop)
Educational achievement and obesity are also quite strongly linked to social class/parental income/stable home life etc. I'd be quite interested to see how they managed to exclude that many variables.
I agree. They said that:

"The study took into account possible mediating factors but found that these did not affect the overall results."

I think looking at why someone is obese at the age of 11 is half the answer, children don't just over eat. Are they eating to to meet a human need that is not being fulfilled? Or is the diet available to them full of processed sugar and fat? Blood sugar roller coasters are not going to help focus or concentration or support the brain's functions. This all certainly links to the variables you've mentioned too.
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Hippysnake
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#6
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#6
This is much more likely to be due to social factors.
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Katie_p
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#7
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#7
I perform much better when I'm eating really healthily, but I don't see much difference between healthy and unhealthy eating. Which is why I only invest the effort in being super-healthy around exam time.
Obviously a healthy body means a healthy mind, but a lot of my slim friends have performance and concentration issues because, despite being slim, they're incredibly unhealthy. One girl can eat 1kg bar of chocolate in 1-2 days...and then want another one the next day! One guy never ate vegetables and rarely ate any fruit. Sure, they looked pretty slim and healthy, but they both needed hours of sleep every night, struggled to concentrate for more than half an hour at a time, needed so much more motivation to get started on something than my other friends who ate healthily.
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El Salvador
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#8
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(Original post by the bear)
slim girls tend to be middle class ?
Queen Lily says hi.
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username878045
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#9
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I wonder how self-control comes into this. It's obviously important for maintaining a healthy diet, but I'm sure I've read stuff talking about how important it is for academic success - if anything, it at least helps overcome procrastination.
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the bear
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#10
(Original post by clh_hilary)
Queen Lily says hi.
hi :rave:
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El Salvador
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(Original post by the bear)
hi :rave:
You can find her on Twitter.
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the bear
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#12
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#12
(Original post by clh_hilary)
You can find her on Twitter.
apologies to OP

ermm bear™ does not use this Twittery thing
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El Salvador
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#13
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(Original post by the bear)
apologies to OP

ermm bear™ does not use this Twittery thing
You're missing out.
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username540512
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#14
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Hasn't this always been clear? I thought we were just unsure about the degree to which obesity impacts the mental faculties, not whether it does to begin with.
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BeautifulPotato
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#15
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#15
(Original post by She-Ra)
A study published today today has focused on the academic attainment of girls who were considered to be obese at 11 (based on data of 6000 girls).

Girls who were obese at the age off 11 achieved lower grades than their peers of a healthy weight over the next 5 years. The research was carried out by Strathclyde, Dundee, Georgia and Bristol universities.

Girls studying towards core subjects such as Maths, English & Science scored an average of a D unlike their healthier peers who achieved a C.

The link between overweight teenage boys and academic achievement was less clear.

Diet affects every bodily function so is this really a surprise? Does this fall in line with you are what you eat?

What other factors in the teenage girl's lives could impact on their studies?
I think...

Obesity is more common in people from a poorer socio-economic background due to unhealthier foods being cheaper and easier to obtain...and also because cheaper supermarkets encourage shoppers to purchase for quantity rather than quality...ergo, on average, obese people tend to come from poorer areas. If one is poor, it is more difficult to do well at school due to social and circumstantial disadvantages ie. **** schooling, lack of prospects, unemployment etc.

Maybe parents are educated in diets and healthy lifestyle?

Maybe, once the child is obese, they are bullied by their peers and focus drifts away from school work...

Or, more interestingly, maybe a poor diet does not offer adequate nutrition for the developing brain? Dunno...worrying though...
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scrotgrot
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#16
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#16
Yes it could be partly due to chemical factors but also remember fat girls are much more likely to be bullied or at least far down the social pecking order. This causes stress and they have no time to think about their work.
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Ripper-Roo
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#17
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#17
Not much difference between a D and a C to make such a stupid claim and it's not as though a C is an excellent grade.

Don't take these "reports" too seriously. It's more than likely some balding loser trying to make his healthy daughters out to be better than the fat girls.
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seaholme
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#18
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#18
I'd go for social factors and also self-esteem. It's true that middle class kids tend to be slimmer, although obviously by no means all middle class kids are slim. I was the fattest person in my year at my 'middle class' school even though actually by normal standards I was just slightly podgy.

Also I think feeling good about yourself, exercising and so on all make a contribution to how you approach all sorts of things in life, including your education. If you're feeling awful about yourself then you're not going to feel as motivated to try academically. Perhaps. I'm not saying it's like that for everyone, maybe some people have a compensation reaction.
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Dragonfly07
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#19
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#19
Maybe eating better is also a sign of better self discipline. The association doesn't mean that it's causal.
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She-Ra
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Dragonfly07)
Maybe eating better is also a sign of better self discipline. The association doesn't mean that it's causal.
I think it depends on a child's food history i.e. what have they been brought up on. If they have been fed processed / microwave meals their whole lives they could be disciplined in the sense they have 3 meals a day alas their diet is full of white sugar and bad fats.
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