According to a cited study in an LA Times article, overweight students average a half point lower grade point average and score almost 10 percentile points below their peers on other tests. Other findings are that overweight students:
- are five times more likely to have six or more detentions,
- had more absences,
- possessed lower physical fitness scores (duh!), and
- were less inclined to play sports.
Possibly, low self-esteem leads to decreased efficiency in making lasting relationships with peers and teachers. I can imagine the self-image issues faced and the accompanying lack of motivation to participate in activities with peers. Of course, self-esteem issues affect classroom performance and often lead to lackluster performances in school.
I would also guess that weight issues can also be linked (at times) to socio-economic status depending on the location of the school. I attended an inner-city high school, and the overweight kids (upon reflection) tended to be kids with little money and little parental oversight. They would often brush off responsibilities because of the lack of supervision and would often snack on cheap, fat and sugar-filled fast food options, which were plentiful in our neighborhood. Healthy snacks cost more and were more difficult to locate.
When looking at your classes, do you see a correlation between weight and grades?