Study: Obese Kids May Struggle More With MathS

We already know that kids who are overweight or obese are at risk for health problems like diabetes and heart disease later in life. But new research shows that they're also more likely to have problems with long division.

A new study in the journal Child Development that tracked more than 6,250 children nationwide found that kids who were "persistently obese" (beginning in kindergarten) scored lower on math tests from first to fifth grade, compared with kids without weight issues. Boys who gained weight a bit later on down the road didn't have a problem with arithmetic, while their female counterparts showed "temporary lapses" in math class.

Researchers said the findings had nothing to do with other factors like race, family income or parental employment status. But it's obviously not like extra calories clog up the problem-solving part of growing brains, either, although that might be the premise of one of the less popular Goosebumps books. Other studies have shown that overweight or obese kids — including kids who just think they need to lose weight — are more likely to be depressed and lonely, qualities which can lead to poorer social skills, which can get in the way of how well kids do in school. It's like a big giant snowball effect of sad.

And, as often happens, it works both ways: obese kids might be mocked, making it hard for them to get along with their classmates, or they could be "passed over" by their peers, making them more likely to feel alone and therefore be at a higher-risk for obsesity. Let's give them all hugs.

How Does a Child's Weight Influence Her Math Abilities? [Time]

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