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Consequence of Obesity on School Grades


Obesity problem in children is main focus of parents as well as teachers. Overweight is explained as an unnecessary accumulation of body fat. There are multiple causes of being overweight. Fatness is rooted in genetic, biological, behavioral and cultural factors. Normally children become obese when they take more calories than the body burns up. Research results have shown that excessive exposure of video game is a major ground of obesity in children. There may be lifestyle habits. In some cases, endocrine problems, genetic syndromes, and medications can be coupled with excessive weight gain. Sitting life style of family may lead to put on fat. Children spend more time playing with electronic devices, from computers to handheld video game systems, than actively playing outdoor games. Television is a major cause. Research indicates that children eat junk foods high in fats, sugars, and carbohydrates while playing video and computer-based games, combined with a lack of physical activity. This is a contributing factor for upsurge in obese children. It has also been noticed by researcher that American children are more overweight, slower, and weaker than their counterparts in other developed nations.

The number of overweight children in today's hi tech society is on the rise at an alarming rate. If this problem is unnoticed, it may have severe impact on future generation. Today's parents are quite busy in their professional career and have less time to prepare nutritious meal for their school going children. Children become habitual to fast food because these foods are easily accessible and they enjoy eating with friends.

Bulk of literature is available to know about health effects of over weight. But few researches have been conducted to study the effects of obesity on the academic performance in children. There is a need to test the performance of obese children. New research published in the International Journal of Obesity notifies that obesity doesn't affect a child's health but it can also have damaging effect on their education and ability to learn. Overweight children are isolated and feel awkward in many situations. It directly affects their studies.

Basis of poor performance by over weight children-
It is observed that overweight children perform poorly at school. It is found that there may be a relation between self-esteem and learning. Obese children have low self esteem, which makes them harder to focus in class, with the result they do not learn concepts thoroughly and in turn affects their grades. Health problems associated with overweight children may affect attendance at school which again affects school performance. In the beginning of school education, weight gain seems to be a real problem. When child starts going school, his eating habits are changed and he may perform less physical activity during the school day. Keeping these factors in mind, it is important to make sure that school meals and packed lunches are balanced and nutritious. These meals are planned according to child's age and encourage children to be more active outside of school hours. Normally children face problems in high school due to drugs, lack of interest, clashes at home. Obese students have bitter experience at school than their slim peers and are declined to attend the college.

Gender difference is also observed in low performance at school. Girls are more sensitive than boys and being overweight, hurt girls far more than boys. The researchers consider that becoming overweight during nursery school is a considerable risk factor for poor school outcomes among girls. It has been suggested that obese children may be carefully supervised during their early school years. In many studies, the researchers revealed that girls who joined school at a normal weight but became fatty by the end of the third grade did not perform well in reading and math and had lower ratings for social skills. Boys who became overweight had more absences from schools. Girls are more conscious for body and appearance than to boys. Overweight children may also be prone to low sense of worth that comes from being teased, bullied, or rejected by peers that ultimately affect studies of children. Such harmful social effects of obesity have a more powerful impact on girl's lives and their educational careers. Recent research has demonstrated that fatty teenagers are often laughed at, disliked and isolated by their school mates. Teachers also treat them differently to these children. Ultimately performance graph drops and leads to many other complicated problems. Exceptions are always present in society. Earlier studies have shown that even though obese children experience negative comments, emotionally distressed and disengaged from school, they sometimes do extremely well in academics. The thought emerges that they will never be captain of the team or will not perform well in sports; they work hard in studies and get good grades. But such examples are rare.

Many examples prove that fatness can affect high school student's emotional and academic lives. Obese adolescents may develop sleep disorders that can cause learning disorders and a considerable drop in I.Q. In a study, Dr. Douglas Bradley, a sleep researcher at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Toronto, said that "adolescents with enlarged tonsils had also been found to have the same sleep disturbances as the children in the study, as well as similar declines in school performance and intellectual ability". Medically, it is stated that breathing stops during sleep. Many medical professionals have said that the obese adolescents with apneas have poor performance in visual and verbal learning and on standard I.Q. tests.

The outcome of overweight is very dangerous. It may lead to severe health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Children concerned with their weight may develop unhealthy dieting habits and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia and they may be more prone to depression, as well as substance abuse. It is duty of parents and other elders in a family to check child's eating habits and guide a child to maintain his weight by developing good eating habits and regular exercise. If child is overweight, family adult must take him to doctor and strictly follow doctor's advice. Doctor will suggest effective way to make positive changes and child become aware that he can maintain weight and perform well in school. Doctor may recommend a wide-ranging weight management program. It is better to evade that activity which may hasten over weight. Parents must always interact with child about the significance of eating well and being active so that children study well and choose best career in later life. If child is obese, parents must always convey message that they love their kids no matter how child looks and always ready to help child. These expressions of parents boost the child's confidence and he will make best effort to reduce weight.