Navigation Links
Impoverished schools, parent education key factors in student weight
Date:2/1/2012

Attending a financially poor school may have more of an effect on unhealthy adolescent weight than family poverty, according to Penn State sociologists.

Poor schools even influence how parental education protects kids from becoming overweight.

"It was once thought that family income was the main factor when we talk about the research on adolescent weight," said Molly Martin, assistant professor of sociology and demography. "That's not true. The environments the children live in play a key role in weight problems among adolescents."

Martin said that the level of a school's financial resources significantly predicted adolescent weight problems, but the average education level of the parents for students in those schools did not.

The researchers said that students with well-educated parents are less likely to be overweight. However, the effect of having a better-educated parent is minimized if the student attends a poor school, said Michelle Frisco, associate professor of sociology and demography.

A parent with a graduate degree and who has a child in a poor school is more likely to raise an overweight adolescent than a parent with an eighth grade education who has an adolescent enrolled in a rich school, according to researchers.

"The environment can actually limit our ability to make the choices that we all think we make freely," said Frisco.

Many experts believe that well-educated parents can use more tools to help their children maintain a healthy weight, despite environmental pressures, Martin said. For instance, they can recognize health issues associated with being overweight and are more comfortable communicating with doctors. Well-educated parents can also teach their children about nutrition and food choices.

The researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of Social Science and Medicine, analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health that included information about 16,133 students in 132 schools.

Poor schools may influence overweight adolescents in several ways beyond providing the unhealthy food choices at cafeterias that are typically blamed for adolescents being overweight, said Martin.

According to Martin and Frisco, who worked with Claudia Nau, a graduate student in sociology, and Kristin Burnett, of the U.S. Census Bureau, poor schools may not have the resources to pay for athletic and fitness programs. Better-funded schools may offer food choices that are unhealthy, but they may also have the means to provide additional healthy food options, such as vegetarian dishes, while schools with limited resources may rely more on vending machine income.

Stress also may play a role in the weight gain of students at poor schools.

"Schools with limited financial resources tend to be more stressful environments," said Martin. "Stress promotes weight gains and usually the worst kinds of weight gains." Stress tends to promote excess weight gain in the midsection, which is associated with such health problems as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Swayne
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. AthletiCo Employees Travel to Honduras to Provide Medical Care to Impoverished Communities
2. Flu Spreads Easily in High Schools, Study Suggests
3. Africa cell phone boom beneficial -- but schools, roads, power, water remain critical needs
4. Beverage Industry Delivers On Commitment to Remove Regular Soft Drinks In Schools, Driving 88% Decline In Calories
5. National Network of Digital Schools, SlateXP and UMPS CARE Raise $75,000 for Children
6. Governor Rendell Proposes Budget With No Tax Increase, More Money for Public Schools, Strategy for Jobs, Plan to Address Future Deficits
7. Pediatricians Group Urges More Input From Parents
8. U-M study urges parents to enforce booster seat use when carpooling
9. Parents May Hold Key to Treating Kids Obesity
10. Teens of Lesbian Parents Appear Well-Adjusted
11. Most Parents Tell Kids About Test Results for Breast Cancer Genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... TLC Laser Eye Centers announced today that it has acquired ... now be called “Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute, a TLC Laser Eye Center.” ... to ensure that patients continue to receive the highest quality of care. In addition, ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... LELO has ... Every day, LELO fans reach out via email, social media and on the Volonté ... up: “Is the way I masturbate ‘normal’ or ‘correct’?” , While some methods are ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Michael Lanteri Agency in Fort ... assist the people of their local community. The agency pledges to select a ... Their hope is to bring awareness to important local causes with fundraising and ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery has been named as one of the ... of Architects and the Academy of Architecture for Health. The building, brainchild of founder ... to patients in October of 2014. , The prestigious Healthcare Design ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Sun Health registered ... the organization’s successful Care Transitions program at the 9th Annual Orthopedic ... “Minimizing Costs in the Post-Acute Environment Through Effective Transitions of Care.” , Major ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... According to market research "Global Computed ... to 2022 - Industry Insights by Slice Type (High, Mid ... by P&S Market Research, the global computed tomography market ... is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% during ... is expected to witness the faster growth, CAGR of 5.3%, ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Jersey , May 4, 2016 ... successful completion of an alternative public offering (APO). This ... owned operating company, Valeritas, Inc. and a private placement ... stock at $5.00 per share. Under the ... May 3, 2016, Valeritas Holdings, Inc. will trade on ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... DUBLIN , May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the  "Global Acute Myeloid ... 2016"  report to their offering.  ... ,Global Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia pipeline products, Acute Myeloid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: