I discovered after reading this article on the HuffingtonPost.com that Convit, while researching the affects of insulin dependence in children and adults who are type 2 diabetic, found that children who were overweight didn't do as well on mental tests.
"Their results show that the adolescents with type 2 diabetes did more poorly across the board on mental performance tests. In addition, these same youth showed smaller brain volume for the entire brain and the frontal lobes, where much of our reasoning occurs. The frontal lobes are the last part of the brain to mature, making it is highly sensitive to change during adolescence. The abnormal findings Dr. Convit found occur more in obese diabetic youth than in (matched) youth who also were obese but did not have diabetes (or pre-diabetes -- in which the body has developed insulin resistance). "
Not surprisingly, fitter children did better across the board.
What I liked the most about this article was the solutions to this problem:
"The City Health and Mental Hygiene Department recommended, as a result, that parents, schools and health care providers need to help children be fit by engaging in daily physical activity. In addition, the report stressed healthy eating habits, including healthy meals at home, and "...don't let your children drink their calories" referring to the way that high calorie, sugary beverages cause weight gain in youth."
You can't tell me that the soda tax wouldn't help with this! Also, removing sodas and sugary milks from schools, healthy food choices, and allowing kids to stop sitting on the couch and get out and MOVING will not only save our future children from a lifetime of health problems, but will make our nation a smarter one too.
If you are a parent or know someone who is and is having issues with an obese child, forward them this article. Knowing that they can help their child have an easier time in school (not just socially) may be just the impetus they need to steer them on the right track.