What is it about?

Overweight and obesity have been associted with many health problems but they may also impair brain development and cognitive functions and thereby learning and academic achievement. However, it is possible that obesity is not direclty related to poorer academic achievement. Therefore we investigated whether physical literacy (i.e. ability to skillfully perform various movements, also known as motor skills), fitness, physical activity, or sedentary behaviour mediate the association between obesity and academic achievement in boys and girls.

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Why is it important?

For the first time, we demonstrated that poor physical literacy explained the inverse assocition between obesity and academic achievement. These results suggest that physical literacy is more important determinant of school success than obesity in boys. We also found that leptin hormone, secreted by adipose tissue, in boys and gammaglutamyl transferase, an indicator of non-alcoholic fatty liver, in girls were negatively related to academic achievement. These results provided some evidence that high levels of versatile physical activity during early childhood may contribute boys' academic achievement in middle childhood. Furthermore, also some risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases may be harmful for learning but these require more research.

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This page is a summary of: Mediating effects of motor performance, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour on the associations of adiposity and other cardiometabolic risk factors with academic achievement in children, Journal of Sports Sciences, March 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1449562.
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