Advertisement

There Is No Relationship between Academic Achievement and Body Mass Index among Fourth-Grade, Predominantly African-American Children

Published:March 20, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2013.01.004

      Abstract

      School-based initiatives to combat childhood obesity may use academic performance to measure success. This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between academic achievement and body mass index percentile, socioeconomic status (SES), and race by linking existing datasets that are not routinely linked. Data from a school-based project (with National Institutes of Health funding) concerning dietary recall accuracy were linked with data from the state's Department of Education through the state's Office of Research and Statistics. Data were available on 1,504 fourth-grade, predominantly African-American children from 18 schools total in one district in South Carolina during the 2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007 school years. School staff administered standardized tests in English, math, social studies, and science. Researchers measured children's weight and height. Children were categorized as low-SES, medium-SES, or high-SES based on eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price school meals, respectively. Results from marginal regression analyses for each sex for the four academic subjects, separately and combined, showed that test scores were not related to body mass index percentile, but were positively related to SES (P values <0.0001), and were related to race, with lower scores for African-American children than children of other races (P values <0.0039). Cost-efficient opportunities exist to create longitudinal data sets to investigate relationships between academic performance and obesity across kindergarten through 12th-grade children. State agencies can house body mass index data in state-based central repositories where staff can use globally unique identifiers and link data across agencies. Results from such studies could potentially change the way school administrators view nutrition and physical education.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Ogden C.L.
        • Carroll M.D.
        • Curtin L.R.
        • Lamb M.M.
        • Flegal K.M.
        Prevalence of high body mass index in US children and adolescents, 2007-2008.
        JAMA. 2010; 303: 242-249
        • Wang Y.
        • Lobstein T.
        Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity.
        Int J Pediatr Obes. 2006; 1: 11-25
        • US Department of Health and Human Services
        The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity-Overweight in Children and Adolescents.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Taras H.
        • Potts-Datema W.
        Obesity and student performance at school.
        J Sch Health. 2005; 75: 291-295
        • Sargent J.D.
        • Blanchflower D.G.
        Obesity and stature in adolescence and earnings in young adulthood.
        Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994; 148: 681-687
        • Li X.
        A study of intelligence and personality in children with simple obesity.
        Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1995; 19: 355-357
        • Campos A.L.
        • Sigulem D.M.
        • Moraes D.E.
        • Escrivao A.M.
        • Fisberg M.
        Intelligent quotient of obese children and adolescents by the Wechsler scale.
        Rev Saude Publica. 1996; 30: 85-90
        • Mo-suwan L.
        • Lebel L.
        • Puetpaiboon A.
        • Junjana C.
        School performance and weight status of children and young adolescents in a transitional society in Thailand.
        Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999; 23: 272-277
        • Dwyer T.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Blizzard L.
        • Lazarus R.
        • Dean K.
        Relation of academic performance to physical activity and fitness in children.
        Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2001; 13: 225-237
        • Laitinen J.
        • Power C.
        • Ek E.
        • Sovio U.
        • Jarvelin M.R.
        Unemployment and obesity among young adults in a northern Finland 1966 birth cohort.
        Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002; 26: 1329-1338
        • Mikkila V.
        • Lahti-Koski M.
        • Pietinen P.
        • Virtanen S.M.
        • Rimpela M.
        Associates of obesity and weight dissatisfaction among Finnish adolescents.
        Public Health Nutr. 2003; 6: 49-56
        • Sigfusdottir I.D.
        • Kristjansson A.L.
        • Allegrante J.P.
        Health behaviour and academic achievement in Icelandic school children.
        Health Educ Res. 2007; 22: 70-80
        • Carter M.A.
        • Dubois L.
        • Ramsay T.
        Examining the relationship between obesity and math performance among Canadian school children: A prospective analysis.
        Int J Pediatr Obes. 2010; 5: 412-419
        • Abdelalim A.
        • Ajaj N.
        • Al-Tmimy A.
        • et al.
        Childhood obesity and academic achievement among male students in public primary schools in Kuwait.
        Med Princ Pract. 2012; 21: 14-19
        • Tershakovec A.M.
        • Weller S.C.
        • Gallagher P.R.
        Obesity, school performance and behaviour of black, urban elementary school children.
        Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994; 18: 323-327
        • Falkner N.H.
        • Neumark-Sztainer D.
        • Story M.
        • Jeffery R.W.
        • Beuhring T.
        • Resnick M.D.
        Social, educational, and psychological correlates of weight status in adolescents.
        Obes Res. 2001; 9: 32-42
        • Datar A.
        • Sturm R.
        • Magnabosco J.L.
        Childhood overweight and academic performance: National study of kindergartners and first-graders.
        Obes Res. 2004; 12: 58-68
        • Crosnoe R.
        • Muller C.
        Body mass index, academic achievement, and school context: Examining the educational experiences of adolescents at risk of obesity.
        J Health Soc Behav. 2004; 45: 393-407
        • Datar A.
        • Sturm R.
        Childhood overweight and elementary school outcomes.
        Int J Obes. 2006; 30: 1449-1460
        • Huang T.T.-K.
        • Goran M.I.
        • Spruijt-Metz D.
        Associations of adiposity with measured and self-reported academic performance in early adolescence.
        Obesity. 2006; 14: 1839-1845
        • Judge S.
        • Jahns L.
        Association of overweight with academic performance and social and behavior problems: An update from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.
        J Sch Health. 2007; 77: 672-678
        • Castelli D.M.
        • Hillman C.H.
        • Buck S.M.
        • Erwin H.E.
        Physical fitness and academic achievement in third- and fifth-grade students.
        J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2007; 29: 239-252
        • Cottrell L.A.
        • Northrup K.
        • Wittberg R.
        The extended relationship between child cardiovascular risks and academic performance measures.
        Obesity. 2007; 15: 3170-3177
        • Shore S.M.
        • Sachs M.L.
        • Lidicker J.R.
        • Brett S.N.
        • Wright A.R.
        • Libonati J.R.
        Decreased scholastic achievement in overweight middle school students.
        Obesity. 2008; 16: 1535-1538
        • Chomitz V.R.
        • Slining M.M.
        • McGowan R.J.
        • Mitchell S.E.
        • Dawson G.F.
        • Hacker K.A.
        Is there a relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement?.
        J Sch Health. 2009; 79: 30-37
        • Krukowski R.A.
        • West D.S.
        • Perez A.P.
        • Bursac Z.
        • Phillips M.A.
        • Raczynski J.M.
        Overweight children, weight-based teasing and academic performance.
        Int J Pediatr Obes. 2009; 4: 274-280
        • Kaestner R.
        • Grossman M.
        Effects of weight on children's educational achievement.
        Econ Educ Rev. 2009; 28: 651-661
        • Roberts C.K.
        • Freed B.
        • McCarthy W.J.
        Low aerobic fitness and obesity are associated with lower standardized test scores in children.
        J Pediatr. 2010; 156: 711-718
        • Edwards J.U.
        • Mauch L.
        • Winkelman M.R.
        Relationship of nutrition and physical activity behaviors and fitness measures to academic performance for sixth graders in a Midwest city school district.
        J Sch Health. 2011; 81: 65-73
        • Wingfield R.J.
        • McNamara J.P.H.
        • Janicke D.M.
        • Graziano P.A.
        Is there a relationship between body mass index, fitness, and academic performance?.
        Curr Issues Educ. 2011; 14 (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Li J.
        • O'Connell A.A.
        Obesity, high-calorie food intake, and academic achievement trends among US school children.
        J Educ Res. 2012; 105: 391-403
        • Gable S.
        • Krull J.L.
        • Chang Y.
        Boys' and girls' weight status and math performance from kindergarten entry through fifth grade: A mediated analysis.
        Child Dev. 2012; 83: 1822-1839
        • Hollar D.
        • Messiah S.E.
        • Lopez-Mitnik G.
        • Hollar T.L.
        • Almon M.
        • Agatston A.S.
        Effect of a two-year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children.
        Am J Public Health. 2010; 100: 646-653
        • Baxter S.D.
        • Hardin J.W.
        • Guinn C.H.
        • Royer J.A.
        • Mackelprang A.J.
        • Smith A.F.
        Fourth-grade children's dietary recall accuracy is influenced by retention interval (target period and interview time).
        J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109: 846-856
        • South Carolina Department of Education, Office of Assessment
        PACT Score Report User's Guide for Use with Spring 2006 Score Reports.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Lohman T.G.
        • Roche A.F.
        • Martorell R.
        Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual.
        Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, IL1988
        • Maternal and Child Health Bureau
        Accurately weighing & measuring: Technique.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Kuczmarski R.J.
        • Ogden C.L.
        • Grummer-Strawn L.M.
        • et al.
        CDC growth charts: United States.
        Adv Data. 2000; 314: 1-27
        • Barlow S.E.
        Expert committee recommendations regarding the prevention, assessment, and treatment of child and adolescent overweight and obesity.
        Pediatrics. 2007; 120: S164-S192
        • US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
        National School Lunch Program.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Kober N.
        • Chudowsky N.
        • Chudowsky V.
        State test score trends through 2008-09, Part 2: Slow and uneven progress in narrowing gaps.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Sirin S.R.
        Socioeconomic status and academic achievement: A meta-analytic review of research.
        Rev Educ Res. 2005; 75: 417-453
        • Kober N.
        • Chudowsky V.
        • Chudowsky N.
        • Dietz S.
        Student achievement policy brief #1: African American students—A call to raise achievement for African American students.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • California Dept of Education
        California Physical Fitness Test: A study of the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement in California using 2004 test results.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • London R.A.
        • Castrechini S.
        A longitudinal examination of the link between youth physical fitness and academic achievement.
        J Sch Health. 2011; 81: 400-408
        • Latner J.D.
        • Stunkard A.J.
        Getting worse: The stigmatization of obese children.
        Obes Res. 2003; 11: 452-456
        • Puhl R.M.
        • Latner J.D.
        Stigma, obesity, and the health of the nation's children.
        Psychol Bull. 2007; 133: 557-580
        • Himes J.H.
        Challenges of accurately measuring and using BMI and other indicators of obesity in children.
        Pediatrics. 2009; 124: S3-S22
        • Dahmen G.
        • Rochon J.
        • Konig I.
        • Ziegler A.
        Sample size calculations for controlled clinical trials using generalized estimating equations (GEE).
        Methods Inf Med. 2004; 43: 451-456
        • Lyn R.
        • O'Meara S.
        • Hepburn V.A.
        • Potter A.
        Statewide evaluation of local wellness policies in Georgia: An examination of policy compliance, policy strength, and associated factors.
        J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012; 44: 513-520
        • Taras H.
        Nutrition and student performance at school.
        J Sch Health. 2005; 75: 199-213
        • Hasz L.A.
        • Lamport M.A.
        Breakfast and adolescent academic performance: An analytical review of recent research.
        Eur J Business Social Sci. 2012; 1: 61-79
        • Kim H.-Y.P.
        • Frongillo E.A.
        • Han S.-S.
        • et al.
        Academic performance of Korean children is associated with dietary behaviours and physical status.
        Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr. 2003; 12: 186-192
        • Park S.
        • Sherry B.
        • Foti K.
        • Blanck H.M.
        Self-reported academic grades and other correlates of sugar-sweetened soda intake among US adolescents.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012; 112: 125-131
        • Hannum E.
        • Liu J.
        • Frongillo E.A.
        Poverty, food insecurity and nutritional deprivation in rural China: Implications for children's literacy achievement.
        ([published online ahead of print September 13, 2012]. Int J Educ Dev.)
        • Alaimo K.
        • Olson C.M.
        • Frongillo Jr, E.A.
        Food insufficiency and American school-aged children's cognitive, academic, and psychosocial development.
        Pediatrics. 2001; 108: 44-53
        • Oza-Frank R.
        • Norton A.
        • Scarpitti H.
        • Wapner A.
        • Conrey E.
        A Report on the body mass index of Ohio's third graders: 2009-10.
        Ohio Department of Health, 2011 (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Wang Y.
        • Beydoun M.A.
        The obesity epidemic in the United States—gender, age, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and geographic characteristics: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis.
        Epidemiol Rev. 2007; 29: 6-28
        • Longjohn M.
        • Sheon A.R.
        • Card-Higginson P.
        • Nader P.R.
        • Mason M.
        Learning from state surveillance of childhood obesity.
        Health Aff. 2010; 29: 463-472
        • Nihiser A.J.
        • Lee S.M.
        • Wechsler H.
        • et al.
        BMI measurement in schools.
        Pediatrics. 2009; 124: S89-S97
        • Oza-Frank R.
        • Hade E.M.
        • Conrey E.J.
        Inter-rater reliability of Ohio school-based overweight and obesity surveillance data.
        J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012; 112: 1410-1414
        • Linchey J.
        • Madsen K.A.
        State requirements and recommendations for school-based screenings for body mass index or body composition, 2010.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2011; 8 (Accessed December 21, 2012): A101
      1. Common core state standards initiative.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Kober N.
        • Rentner D.S.
        Year two of implementing the common core state standards.
        (Accessed December 21, 2012)
        • Welk G.J.
        • Jackson A.W.
        • Morrow Jr, J.R.
        • Haskell W.H.
        • Meredith M.D.
        • Cooper K.H.
        The association of health-related fitness with indicators of academic performance in Texas schools.
        Res Q Exerc Sport. 2010; 81: S16-S23
        • Ogden C.
        • Carroll M.
        Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents: United States, trends 1963-1965 through 2007-2008.
        National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD2010 (Accessed December 21, 2012)

      Biography

      S. D. Baxter is a research professor, Institute for Families in Society, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      C. H. Guinn is a research dietitian, Institute for Families in Society, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      J. M. Tebbs is a professor, Department of Statistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

      Biography

      J. A. Royer is a data programmer/analyst, Institute for Families in Society, College of Social Work, University of South Carolina, Columbia, and South Carolina Budget and Control Board, Office of Research and Statistics, Columbia.