A Longitudinal Study of Childhood Obesity, Weight Status Change, and Subsequent Academic Performance in Taiwanese Children

Li Jung Chen, Kenneth R. Fox, Po Wen Ku, Ching Hui Wang

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study examined the association among childhood obesity, weight status change, and subsequent academic performance at 6-year follow-up. Methods: First-grade students from one elementary school district in Taichung City, Taiwan were followed for 6 years (N = 409). Academic performance was extracted from the school records at the end of each grade. Weight and height were measured at the beginning of each grade. A weight change variable was created based on each child's weight status difference at grades 1 and 6. A multivariate linear regression model for predicting academic performance at grade 6 was developed with adjustment for individual characteristics and family factors. A latent growth curve (LGC) showed the association between changes in body mass index (BMI) and in academic performance across a 6-year period. Results: BMI in children increased significantly across 6 years. The rate of increase in BMI over 6 years was higher for children with higher baseline BMIs than it was for children with lower baseline BMIs. However, BMI changes were not significantly associated with changes of academic performance. Conclusion: There was no significant relationship between initial obesity or change in weight status and subsequent academic performance. It appears that either being or becoming overweight/obese did not impact academic achievement for these Taiwanese children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-431
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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