This study examined associations between adolescent obesity and school performance and perceptions of the social environment and safety at school. Data are from the Minnesota Student Survey (n = 87,468 students) which was administered statewide in the spring of 2007. Student's responses to questions about grades achieved in school, skipping school, future school plans, and perceptions of the social environment and safety in school were analyzed in relation to their weight status using logistic regression and general linear modeling. Overweight and obese adolescents were significantly less likely to plan to go to college; more likely to report skipping school because of fears of safety, lower academic grades, an individualized education plan, and negative perceptions about the social environment and safety in school than non-overweight students (all p <.001). Study findings can help guide school and other health professionals' assessment and intervention strategies to improve the quality of life for overweight and obese youth.
- Adolescent obesity
- School environment