Normal weight is the key to girls’ good school performance

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Obesity in childhood is dangerous for diabetes, high blood pressure and a tendency to allergic diseases, including asthma. Now, scientists have discovered that full teenage girls, as a rule, study much worse than their slender peers.

Schoolgirls who are significantly overweight at the age of 11 years, after they are 16 years old, usually study much worse than their classmates who have normal weight.

The relationship between school performance and extra pounds was discovered by Scottish scientists from the University of Strathclyde.

In a study lasting 9 years, scientists observed a group of 2,500 children. Among them were both girls and boys. The study began when all participants were 8 years old.

Before the start of the study, the children underwent testing, which made it possible to determine their mental development coefficient (IQ). Further, these tests were repeated annually. Additionally, scientists recorded the performance of participants in a scientific experiment in annual grades and class books, as well as in exam grades for a course of study in high school. At least twice a year, all children were weighed.

Scientists reported that in boys a relationship between weight and performance was not found, but such a relationship was observed in girls. The presence of problems with excess weight at the age of 11 in girls was with poor results obtained as a result of testing, as well as poor performance at this age, and 5 years later (at 16).

According to the authors, obesity definitely had an effect on hormonal changes in the body and this most likely led to a slow development of the girls’ brains.

“The results obtained by us suggest that overweight and obesity in childhood have a more complex effect on the body of schoolchildren than expected,” said one of the authors of the study, Professor Josie Booth.

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