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School Social Standing Linked to Teen Girls' Weight Gain
Date:1/8/2008

such as depression and low self-esteem and self-perception contribute to the burden of overweight in adolescents. Our study contributes to this body of literature in that, to our knowledge, it is the first to prospectively evaluate the relationship between subjective social status in the school community and change in BMI, and our findings suggest that low school subjective social status may be an important contributor to increases in BMI in girls over time."

According to background information in the study, the percentage of American teen girls classified as overweight increased from 14 percent to 16 percent between 1999 and 2004.

Another study in the same issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, looked at 3,345 American teens in grades 8 to 12 and found that those who were physically active at school and outside of school were less likely to be overweight when they were young adults.

For every day per week that teens were physically active at school, their risk of being overweight as young adults was reduced by 5 percent, the study said. Teens who had physical education five days a week were 28 percent less likely to be overweight as young adults.

"Regarding extracurricular physical activities, the likelihood of being an overweight adult was reduced most (i.e., 48 percent) by performing certain wheel-related activities (i.e. in-line skating, roller skating, skateboarding or bicycling) more than four times a week," the study authors wrote.

About 16 percent of American teens are overweight or obese, and 85 percent of obese adolescents become obese adults, according to background information in the study.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about teens and healthy weight.



-- Robert Preidt


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