Increased BMI is Associated with School Absenteeism Among US School Aged Children and Adolescents
Objective: Severe school absence may be one underlying cause of poor school performance among overweight and obese children. We examined the associations between school absenteeism and body mass index (BMI) in a nationally representative sample of children.
Methods and Procedures: We analyzed the data of 1,387 children (6-11 y) and 2,185 adolescents (12-19 y), who completed an interview and anthropometric measurement as a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005-2008. CDC 2000 growth chart was used to categorize BMI status, and school days missed during the past 12 months was assessed by asking the proxies or interviewees.
Results: The prevalence of obese and overweight were 18.96 (SE=1.44), and 16.41(0.78)% respectively among study populations. The means of school days missed in the last 12 months were not statistically different between normal weight, overweight and obese groups, 3.79 (SE=0.56), 3.86 (0.38) and 4.31 (0.01) days respectively. However, when more than 2 days missed per school month was defined as severe absenteeism, the prevalence of severe absenteeism were 1.57%, 2.99% and 4.94% respectively among 6- 11 years old children with normal, overweight and obese. The adjusted odds of being severe absentee were 2.18 (95% CI = 0.61-7.73) and 3.79 (1.45-9.91) respectively among overweight and obese children compared to normal weight peers (p for trend test < 0.01). No significant association was found among adolescents.
Conclusion: Increased body weight is independently associated with severe absenteeism.
American Public Health Association Annual Conference (APHA)
Polur, Ram, Swati Raychowdhury, Stuart H. Tedders, Jian Zhang.
"Increased BMI is Associated with School Absenteeism Among US School Aged Children and Adolescents."
Epidemiology Faculty Presentations.