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J Adolesc Health. 2017 Jul 7. pii: S1054-139X(17)30201-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.04.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Childhood Obesity, Obesity Treatment Outcome, and Achieved Education: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: emilia.hagman@ki.se.
2
Division of Pediatrics, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Unit of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine/Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Childhood obesity represents a social burden. This study aims to investigate whether achieved educational level differs in young adults who have suffered obesity in childhood compared with the general population and to determine how obesity treatment influences achieved educational level.

METHODS:

This prospective cohort study includes subjects from the Swedish Childhood Obesity Treatment Registry (BORIS, n = 1,465) who were followed up after 20 years of age. They were compared with a randomly selected matched population-based group (n = 6,979). Achieved educational level was defined as ≥12 years in school (completers). Covariates include sex, migration background, and attention deficit disorders for both groups. Furthermore, age and degree of obesity at start of obesity treatment, treatment duration, and efficacy were analyzed in the obese cohort.

RESULTS:

In the obese cohort, 55.4% were school completers, compared with 76.2% in the comparison group (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = .42, p < .0001). Subjects with moderate obesity had a completion rate of 64.4%, compared with 50.9% among subjects with morbid obesity (adjusted OR = .57, p < .0001). Successful obesity treatment was associated with increased future educational level, compared with those experiencing no treatment effect (61.9% vs. 51.3% completers; adjusted OR = 1.4, p < .05). In children with attention deficit disorder, obesity was not an extra risk for not completing 12 or more years of schooling, p = .11.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity in childhood was associated with low educational level in early adulthood. Children and adolescents with obesity may require special support at school in addition to health care treatment to lose weight.

KEYWORDS:

ADD/ADHD; Childhood obesity; Cohort study; Epidemiology; School achievement; Treatment efficacy

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