Obese female students don't perform as well in school as those at who are a healthy weight, researchers from four universities have found.
The study observed 6,000 students in the UK from 11-16 years old. Of those students, 71% obese, 13% were overweight and 15% were at a healthy weight. Obese students had a higher chance of getting a D than a C, which was used as the average grade. The correlation wasn't as prevalent in boys.
Factors such as socio-economic deprivation, mental health, IQ and age of menarche were taken into account for the study. However, researchers found these factors did not change the relationship which was discovered between obesity and poor grades.
But researchers did find the age at which the students were obese was also a factor. "Being over or obese at age 16 was not as detrimental for attainment if participants had been a healthy weight at age 11, suggesting that potentially, it is a long term overweight/obesity that is the problem," the results, which were published in the International Journal of Obesity, concluded.