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ERIC Number: EJ1125386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
(How) Does Obesity Harm Academic Performance? Stratification at the Intersection of Race, Sex, and Body Size in Elementary and High School
Branigan, Amelia R.
Sociology of Education, v90 n1 p25-46 Jan 2017
In this study I hypothesize a larger penalty of obesity on teacher-assessed academic performance for white girls in English, where femininity is privileged, than in math, where stereotypical femininity is perceived to be a detriment. This pattern of associations would be expected if obesity largely influences academic performance through social pathways, such as discrimination and stigma. In the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (age ~9) and the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 (age ~18), I find obesity to be associated with a penalty on academic performance among white girls in English but not in math, while no association is found in either subject for white boys or for black students net of controls. Findings suggest that the relationship between obesity and academic performance may result largely from how educational institutions interact differently with bodies of different sizes rather than primarily via constraints on physical health.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement; Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: R25HD074544; P2CHD058486; 5R01HD036916