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Study Finds Obesity Affects College Attendance
By Surajit Sen Sharma
A study published in the July issue of Sociology of Education by sociologist Robert Crosnoe of the University of Texas at Austin found that obese students are less likely to attend college because of bad experiences they have at school. The study also found that obesity affects girls more than boys.
The groundbreaking study by Crosnoe found, among other facts, that:
Obese girls who went to high schools where less than 20% of students were overweight were less likely to attend college after high school than their thinner counterparts.
Obese girls who attended high schools where at least 20% of the student population was overweight attended college at rates similar to their thinner counterparts.
Obese boys were relatively immune to reluctance to attend college stemming from obesity.
Self-rejection in obese girls was 63% higher than for non-obese girls.
The obesity factor is present across racially diverse groups.
According to Crosnoe, overweight children at high schools internalize the negative social feedback heaped upon them by unkind peers. Such ostracization based on body appearance can often lead to depression, alcohol and drug use, failure in school, truancy, and suicidal tendencies.
Don Beauregard, co-chair of the National High School Association, marked it as a very serious problem and said, "It deals with individual feelings about self-esteem and self-worth, and those are youngsters targeted in the school system. There's got to be a major concern for their well-being." Beauregard felt that a major part of the problem could be solved through awareness promotion by administration and faculty. According to the National Center for Heath Statistics, 17% of U.S. adolescents are overweight, twice the number in the 1980s.
The study, as a part of the ongoing "National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," used data collected from nearly 11,000 adolescents from 128 schools.
Article Title : Study Finds Obesity Affects College Attendance
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