The University of Missouri released the results of a study they recently conducted with 6,250 young children and their families. The study showed, maybe for the first time, a direct link between obese children and poor math performance. Yikes!

The study leader, Sara Gable, said that “our study suggests that childhood obesity, especially obesity that persists throughout the elementary school grades can harm children’s social and emotional well-being, as well as academic performance.”

The relationship between a child’s weight, their social and emotional well-being and their academic performance is complex, to be sure. But this study found there was a relationship. For boys, having fewer social skills may explain part of their poorer math performance. For girls, feeling sadder, lonelier and more anxious may also play a factor.

The study also showed that when children first experience obesity and how long it lasts have an impact on math performance too. Children who began their obesity challenge at a very early age performed worse on math tests in all grades. The good news is that it seems the affects can be reversible, if parents catch it early enough and take action.

These new findings make it even more important to ensure that kids eat healthy and exercise regularly. Weight issues can be addressed and a person’s health improved over time, but “catching up” in academics may be difficult.

What do you think? Have you seen an example of how obesity can negatively influence academics?

Remember, healthy choices you make each day can transform your family for generations! What choices will you make today?

Do You Wish Your Kid’s Ate Better? Check out our FREE eBook at Many of the strategies in this book can be used by both children and adults.
You may also want to read: No More Junk Food for Disney – at Least on TV, Childhood Obesity: Reversing the Trend is a Group Effort, Healthy Kids = Healthy Adults


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15 Responses to Childhood Obesity = Poor Math Skills

  1. Ella Jones says:

    I think obesity causes when anyone eats more calories than the body burns up and not exercising enough. But obesity is not good for health. It causes many diseases. For more information about childhood obesity you can visit
    Ella Jones recently posted..What are the causes of obesityMy Profile

  2. Annette Daly says:

    Wow! I had no idea of such a connection. Even more reason to make sure we have healthy kids.

  3. Such an eye opener and great article to get this information out there. In doesn’t matter if we are talking about math scores or self-esteem scores – obesity in children earns a failing grade. Thank you for this article.
    Rebecca Skeele recently posted..New Inner Tools that Make a Big Difference in Your LifeMy Profile

  4. Beth Banning says:

    Wonderful article! I’m so glad they’ve done studies and you are helping get the word out. This is a very important topic and I also hope this helps change the way we feed children in our school cafeterias.
    Beth Banning recently posted..Customer Service Is Not Just for the Big Guys – 3 Frequent Customer Care Mistakes and How to Correct Them – Part OneMy Profile

  5. Joy says:

    Great to know Michael! I’m sure there’s so much more to discover along the way and so glad you and Johnnell are providing these important information and service. Thanks!

  6. Sue Paananen says:

    I wonder how much of it is the emotional aspect and how much is the physical/chemical aspect of having poorer grades when one is obese. Thanks for making us be aware of this.
    Sue Paananen recently posted..What To Blog – How Can You Make Blogging Easy?My Profile

    • Vitaerobics says:

      Thanks for your comment. That’s an interesting questions, Sue. The studies show that poorer academics are largely related to the poorer self-image and limited social skills that are an indirect result of obesity. It’s amazing how many aspects of one’s life being overweight can influence.

  7. Bethaney says:

    Wow, thanks Michael! I of course assumed there was some connection between academics and childhood obesity but I had no idea there were actual studies confirming my assumptions! Thank you for spreading the word on this…the lack of social skills, sadness and loneliness is reason enough to help these children get healthy. It breaks my heart to see these children so sad. But luckily you are on the mission and offering amazing ways to get our kids back on track so they can lead a vibrant life!! I work with so many adults who are craving vibrancy and the fact that you are offering a solution to these kids is awesome!! Let’s nip this in the bud!
    Bethaney recently posted..Your unique brilliance is the gateway to your success and a juicy lifeMy Profile

  8. I have a perspective on this that may be a bit different – I believe our schools in general and the system in particular is TOXIC to our kids – the energy of CONFORMITY at all costs is deadening to the spirit and filled with negativity – I believe that the body puts on extra layers of fat to insulate from the toxicity of the system – so it may be the the MATH is causing the obesity and not the other way around!
    Amethyst Wyldfyre recently posted..Acknowledging the “Paws” That Awakens – #4My Profile

    • Vitaerobics says:

      Interesting idea, Amethyst. However, I haven’t been able to identify any studies that support that conclusion. If you know of any, please let me know. It may be that you are conflating a neurological issue with a physiological response. Though there is some relationship between them, obesity is more often a defense mechanism to an emotional issue. Thanks for your perspective, though. It is something I will have to consider in the future.

  9. J. Winslow says:

    Being overweight certainly has its own issues, but I also wonder about the food quality and it’s effects… I know that when I eat poorly (due to my own food sensitivities) I actually experience a food ‘hangover’ of sorts. Lord knows it would be hard to do well in school feeling like that! Thanks for bringing this topic forward, it doesn’t get discussed often enough.
    J. Winslow recently posted..What’s Your S.S.S.?My Profile

  10. Karin says:

    It makes me so sad to see obese children. It’s the responsibility of the parents to have nutritious meals but our whole society has become so inactive as well. It really takes an effort to get enough exercise! I’m not surprised that there is a correlation between weight and academic achievement. We have many issues to deal with because obesity is a result, not the cause. Once we heal our societies, I’m sure we’ll see a huge drop in obesity rates. But the time to take action is now! Thanks for helping make people more aware Michael.
    Karin recently posted..Run Towards Your Fear!My Profile

  11. Tricia says:

    Hmmm…I was a fat kid and I scored higher on math than verbal. My thoughts on this are that the emotional causes of weight gain exacerbate academic performance and the emotional effects of being fat can also affect their performance in many areas. Thanks for always keeping up on the latest studies!

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