Teachers underestimate the intelligence of kids with obese mums
A new Irish study has shown a link between a mother’s weight and a teachers’ perception of her child’s academic ability.
The research shows that, when a teacher knows a child's mum is obese, they tend to rate the child lower academically.
Working with data from the Growing Up in Ireland survey, researchers from NUI Galway and Queens University Belfast set out to discover whether obesity was just a health issue or something that had broader implications.
The results of the study, published in the journal Economics and Human Biology, suggest that a mother's education and income could also lead teachers to stereotype their children.
Author of the study Michelle Queally said the findings were 'worrisome'.
“The study found a significant relationship between a mother’s BMI and the probability of the child’s ability being assessed as below average by their teacher,” said Ms Queally.
“A 10-point increase in BMI, moving someone from normal to obese, for example, would be roughly equivalent in terms of its impact on the probability of being assessed as below average as would the child being female,” she said.