Is there a link between fitness and academic performance?

Briefly noted:  A Muntaner-Mas et al. J Pediatr 2018; 198: 90-7.  This cross-sectional study with 250 Spanish children  (10-12 year olds) examined obesity measures, physical fitness measures and academic performance.  Key finding: “Children considered fit had better academic performance than their unfit peers…the association between body mass index and GPA was mediated by cardiorespiratory fitness and speed-agility.”  The design of this study precludes establishing this association as a causal relationship.

Gibbs Gardens

Brains and Bowels: Kids with IBD Do Fine in School

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A recent study (Singh H, et al. J Pediatr 2015; 166: 1128-33) showed that overall academic performance was not affected for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Study characteristics:

University of Manitoba Database IBD population (n=337) was matched by age, sex, and area of residence to 10 randomly selected controls (n=3093).

Key findings:

  • There were no significant differences in the 2 groups in standardized scores or enrollment in grade 12
  • Lower socioeconomic status and diagnosis with a mental health problem (6-month before or after IBD diagnosis) were independent predictors of worse outcomes

Akin to the quote above, I’ve often felt that it is difficult to think clearly when having severe bowel dysfunction.  At the same time, some of our patients accomplish so much despite their physical setbacks.

Bottomline: This study provides reassurance that children with IBD should be able to complete their course work.