Obese children face risks to their emotional and social well-being that can harm their academic performance, new research suggests.
The study, published today in the journal Child Development, found obese elementary school children performed worse on math tests than their peers without weight problems.
A lack of social acceptance could account for the lower test scores, researchers said. Obese children who do not feel accepted by their peers often exhibit feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiety that can hinder their academic performance.
Those feelings became even more apparent as the children progressed through school, according to the study.