Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Obesity studies

Study: Obese girls far less likely to attend collegeObese girls are half as likely to attend college as girls of normal weight, according to a new University of Texas at Austin study. In high schools where overweight girls comprised 20% of the student population, however, obese girls had normal odds of college attendance.
Crosnoe, Robert. (2007, July). Gender, Obesity, and Education. Journal of Sociology, 241-260.

Study: Overweight teens already at risk for heart disease
Overweight 8-year-olds are seven times more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and elevated blood sugar and insulin by the time they are 15, according to an Australian study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. "The consequences of childhood obesity are devastating," said lead author Dr. Sarah P. Garnett. Scientific American(9/21)

Study: U.S. adults, children are gaining weight
Some 25 million U.S. children are now obese or overweight, three times the rate in 1980, a new Trust for Americas Health study found. Adult obesity also is growing in most states, with Mississippi at the top of the list for the third consecutive year, with 30.6% adults reaching obese levels.
Scientific American/Reuters (8/27)

Study: Weight affects school attendance
Children may add twice as many pounds during summer vacation, according to a new study of kindergarteners and first-graders. And that may mean they miss more school. Obese and overweight children are more likely to be absent from school than healthy children, a study of students in Philadelphia found. The absences are probably more related to psychological and social issues than health ones, one expert says. The study found fat is a better predictor of fourth- to sixth-grade absenteeism than any other factor. The Washington Post/Associated Press (8/10) and The New York Times (8/21)

Banning cars around schools would encourage walking, reduce obesity
The Institute for European Environmental Policy blames over-use of cars for fuelling the "twin crises" of global warming and an obesity epidemic. Researchers found the amount of walking fell from two hours a week to just one when households started using a car. They say banning cars around schools would instil good habits early on and call for "concerted action". The IEEP study says that if people walked one more hour a week - the typical difference between those who own a car and those who do not - it could mean a reduction in average weight of up to two stone in a decade.

Report: Overweight children face near-universal bias
Overweight children face bias from their parents, teachers and other children as young as age 3. Even with 50% of North American children expected to be overweight by 2010, the stigma does not seem to be lessening.
Puhl, R., & Latner, J. (2007). Stigma, obesity, and the health of the nation's children. Psychological Bulletin, Vol 133(4), 557-580.

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