Academic performance in children and adolescents with overweight and obese

Hana Včelařová, Hana Frydrychová


The rise of obesity in recent years has led to a number of studies about relationship between weight in childhood and the reached level of education, income and other socio-economic aspects in adulthood. This article follows previous researches which were focused mostly on the academic success of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. These researches aimed for the socio-economic, psychosocial and health analysis of causes and consequences of school success rate within this part of population. The aim of this article is to compare and summarize the outputs of these studies. The introductory part brings information about current occurrence of overweight in children and adults population in the world and in our country. The epidemic of overweight and obesity and its movement to a lower age is connected with greater risks for health and associated developmental complications for current and future generations, therefore this is not a marginal issue. The academic success of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity cannot be studied without the knowledge of factors, which are significant for the development of children obesity. Findings about common and final form of socioeconomic and educational results within the population with overweight and obesity are themselves the explanation of why it is important to address the outputs of similarly focused researches form previous developmental periods. The final summary is supplemented by suggested topics, which should be used in thematically following studies.

(Fulltext in Czech)


academic performance, children, adolescent, overweight, obesity, socioeconomic status


Afzal, A. S., & Gortmaker, S. (2015). The relationship between obesity and cognitive performance in children: A longitudinal study. Childhood Obesity, 11, 466–474.

Aldhoon-Hainerová, I. (2009). Dětská obezita. Praha: Maxdorf. Balharová, J., & Jurčová, K. (2006). Psychosociální problémy dětí s nadváhou. Psychológia a patopsychológia dieťaťa, 41(4), 303–319.

Barone A., & O'Higgins, N. (2010). Fat and out in Salerno and its province: Adolescent obesity and early school leaving in Southern Italy. Economics and Human Biology, 8, 44–57. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb­.2009.09.003.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). BRFSS: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1984–2008.…ual_2008.htm

Datar, A., Sturm, R. & Magnabosco, J. L. (2004). Childhood overweight and academic performance: National Study of Kindergartens and First – Graders. Obesity Research, 12, 58–68.

Datar, A., & Sturm, R. (2006). Childhood overweight and elementary school outcomes. International Journal of Obesity (London), 30, 1449–1460.

Falkner, N.H., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Jeffery, R.W., Beuhring, T., & Resnick, M.D. (2001). Social, educational and psychosocial correlates of weight status in adolescents. Obesity Research, 9, 32–42.

Gortmaker, S. L., Must, A., Perrin, J. M., Sobol, A. M. & Dietz, W. H. (1993). Social and economic consequences of overweight in adolescence and young adulthood. New England Journal of Medicine, 329, 1008–12. Gudersen, C., Mahatmya, D., Garasky, S., & Lohman, B. (2011). Linking psychosocial stressors and childhood obesity. Obesity Revue, 12, 54–63.

Hainer, V., Zamrazilová, H., & Aldhoon-Hainerová, I. (2015). Existuje metabolicky zdravá obezita? Diabetologie – Metabolismus – Endokrinologie – Výživa, 18, 112–120.

Hollar, D., Messiah, S. E., Lopez-Mitnik, G., Phil, M., Hollar, L., Almon, M., & Agatson, A.S. (2010). Effect of a two-year obesity prevention intervention on percentile changes in body mass index and academic performance in low-income elementary school children. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 646–653.

Chen, A., Yin, S., Tang, H., & Wang, Z. (2014). An examination of the mere proximity effect of obesity discrimination in children in Chinese culture. Psychology Research, 4, 265–270.…13670000.pdf

Chen, L.-J., Fox, K. R., Ku, P.-W. & Wang, C.-H. (2012), A Longitudinal Study of Childhood Obesity, Weight Status Change, and Subsequent Academic Performance in Taiwanese Children. Journal of School Health, 82: 424–431. doi:10.1111/j.1746–1561.2012.00718.x

Laitinen, J., Power, C., Sovio, U., & Järvelin, M. R. (2002). Unemployment and obesity among adults in a northern Finland 1966 birth cohort. International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, 26, 1329–1338.

Kaestnera, R., & Grossman, M. (2009). Effects of weight on children's edu­cational achievement. Economics of Education Review, 28, 651–661.

Kamijo, K. N., Khan, A., Matthew, B. P., Scudder, M. R., Drollette, E. S., Raine, L. B., Evans, E. M., Castelli, D. M. & Hilman, Ch. H. (2012). The relation of adiposity to cognitive control and scholastic achievement in preadolescent children. Obesity, 20, 2406–2411.

Komlos, J., Smith, P., & Bogin, B. (2004). Obesity and the rate of time preference: is there a connection? Journal of Biosocial Science, 36, 209–219.

Kristjánsson, A. L., Sigfúsdóttir, I. D., & Allegrante, J. P. (2010). Health behavior and academic achievement among adolescents: The relative contribution of dietary habits, physical activity, body mass index and self-esteem. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 51–64.

Kunešová, M., Procházka, B., Vignerová, J., Pařízková, J., Braunerová, R., Guttenbergerová, T., Redlová, J., Zamrazilová, H., Hill, M., & Šteflová, A. (2014). Prevalence nadváhy, obezity a podváhy u sedmiletých dětí v České republice od roku 1951. Časopis lékařů českých, 153, 271–276.

Marinov, Z., Pastucha, D., Barčáková, U., Čepová, J., Divoká, J., Kalvachová, B., Kuželová, H., Málková, I., Nesrstová, M., Ptáček, R., Seeman, T., Vašíčková, L., Vignerová, J., & Zemková, D. (2012). Praktická dětská obezitologie. Praha: Grada.

Marinov, Z. (2014). Nadváha a běžná obezita v dětském věku – zdravotní výzva 21. století. Lékařské listy, 9, 21–24.

Mikkilä, V., Lahti-Koski, M., Pietinen, P., & Virtanen, S. M. (2003). Associates of obesity and weight dissatisfaction among Finnish adolescents. Public Health and Nutrition, 6, 49–56.

Mo-suwan, L., Lebel, L., Puetpaiboon, A., & Junjana, C. (1999). School performance and weight status of children and young adolescents in a transitional society in Thailand. International Journal of Obesity, 23, 72–277.

Schwimmer, J. B., Burwinkle, T. B., & Varni, J. W. (2003). Health-related quality of life of severely obese children and adolescents. Journal of the American Medical Association 289, 1813–1819.

Pearce, A., Scalzi, D., Lynch, J., & Smithers, L. G. (2016). Do thin, overweight and obese children have poorer development than their healthy-weight peers at the start of school? Findings from a South Australian data linkage study. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 35, 85–94.

Taras, H., & Potts-Datema, W. (2005). Obesity and student performance at school. Journal of School Health, 75, 291–295.

Truong, K. D., Phil, M., & Sturm, R. (2005). Weight gain trends across sociodemographic groups in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 1602–1606.

Truong, K., § Sturm, R. (2014). Schooling and human capital. In J. Cawley (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity (517–530). OUP USA.

Veldwijk, J., Fries, M. C. E., Bemelmans, J. E., Nies, A. H., Smit, H. A., Koppelman, G. H., & Wijga, A. H. (2012). Overweight and school performance among primary school children: The PlaMa Birth cohort Study. Obesity, 20, 590–596.

World Health Organization Media Centre. (2015). Fact Sheet No. 311. Obesity and Overweight, WHO. Dostupné z…ts/fs311/en/

Show all Hide