The negative association of BMI with classroom effort in elementary school children

Raja Ramaswamy, Michael Mirochna, Lawrence C. Perlmuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


This study was designed to evaluate the association between BMI and classroom effort in third to fifth grade, ages seven through 12. Teachers, completely blinded and unaware of the study at the time of their classroom evaluations, provided reports of academic performance and effort. Boys and girls (n = 45), which are members of an ethnically diverse community, participated. In addition to classroom measures, height, weight, and percentage body fat were evaluated. A multiple regression model controlling for ethnicity, gender, and age revealed that increasing BMI scores had little association with academic performance but effort scores decreased significantly as BMI increased. This is the first study to show that elevations in BMI in children are associated with decreasing effort in an academic setting. Thus, BMI associated reductions in effort may result in suboptimal levels of performance in the academic setting as well as in other aspects of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • BMI
  • Child behaviour
  • Child health
  • Childhood illness
  • Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The negative association of BMI with classroom effort in elementary school children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this