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Obesity tied to poor tertiary education outcomes

03 Dec 2018
The obesity epidemic hits Malaysia hard with cardiovascular disease occurring during younger ages.

Compelling evidence indicates weight bias, in which obese students appear to do less well in tertiary education than their healthy weight peers, according to a systematic review. University/college attainment appears to be less impacted by socioeconomic factors than school-based achievement.

“A better understanding of the processes that underpin this weight bias is needed, including stakeholder (student, staff) experiences of weight stigma, perceived or enacted,” the authors said. “Responsive actions could mirror those to address disability or gender bias, or in health promotion in tertiary education settings.”

Several databases, including Embase, Global health, ERIC, Medline, PsychInfo and Science Citation Index, were searched in March 2018 for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies that reported on young people aged 16 years, an association between obesity and academic achievement, and a comparison to healthy weight students. Criteria from the STROBE checklist was used to assess risk of bias.

A total of 1,297 records were identified, of which 16 studies were included. Six cross-sectional and eight of 10 longitudinal studies reported lower educational achievement by students with obesity. There was a low risk of bias in all longitudinal studies, but four cross-sectional studies were at medium risk and two at high risk of bias.

Reduced enrolment was reported in three of four studies. Graduation was less likely in six out of eight, and all six studies reporting on performance showed this was lower in those with obesity. In five of nine studies, obesity was shown to have greater impact on educational achievement for women.

“Previous reviews have documented an overall weak or uncertain association between obesity and school-based educational attainment in children and young people. However, up to half of young adults will go on to further college or university education by age 30 years,” the authors noted.

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Most Read Articles
02 Aug 2018
Men and women who regularly eat seafood appear to have higher sexual intercourse frequency (SIF) and fecundity in a large prospective cohort of couples attempting pregnancy, suggests a study.
29 Oct 2018
Whole-grain rice significantly reduces postprandial blood glucose response relative to white rice, results of a systematic review and meta-analysis have shown.
Tristan Manalac, 5 days ago
Poor aerobic fitness leads to high ectopic fat deposits which, in turn, lowers insulin sensitivity and increases insulin secretion in healthy, nonobese Asians, according to a Singapore study.
01 May 2016
Tadalafil on-demand and once-daily dosing regimens were effective in clinical subgroups of men with erectile dysfunction, according to pooled analyses of placebo-controlled studies.