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ERIC Number: ED505666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
Childhood Obesity and Academic Outcomes
James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy
Childhood obesity is on the rise across the country and in North Carolina, with four times as many children exhibiting signs of obesity now as they did 20 years ago. The costs in terms of medical expenses are staggering, with one estimate putting the cost to North Carolina at $16 million a year. Some North Carolina legislators have expressed concern that obesity might also impede student achievement, resulting in even greater long-term social and economic consequences. In response, the Hunt Institute compiled this briefing to summarize research on the relationship between obesity and academic outcomes. Based on this review, a clear link between childhood obesity and academic performance has not been established. There is reason to believe that childhood obesity has at least an indirect effect on academic outcomes, with the clearest evidence suggesting an impact on self-esteem and pursuit of schooling beyond high school. Though research studies do not suggest that efforts to curb childhood obesity are a primary strategy for improving academic performance, it is possible that efforts to improve student health and wellness could also result in improved school outcomes for some students. Includes two appendices: (1) Selected Programs Currently Funded by the State of North Carolina; and (2) Recent Legislation Related to Childhood Obesity. (Contains 22 footnotes and 2 figures.)
James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. 1000 Park Forty Plaza Suite 280, Durham, NC 27713; Tel: 919-425-4160; Fax: 919-425-4175; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina