JOPLIN, MO---A new study links childhood obesity to poor math skills.
The amount your kid eats could affect their math skills.
University of Missouri researchers participated in a study that followed over 6,000 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. They concluded there is a positive corelation between the two, and it had area nutritionists and teachers talking.
13 percent of children in Missouri are considered obese and that number is steadily growing.
Researchers at the University of Missouri participated in a study that links obesity in children to declining performance in Math.
It shows the poor math performance was connected in part to feelings of sadness, loneliness and other shortcoming in social skills.
"It's surprising but I think that in terms of the school work and in anything else, I think if they did it in other studies like English or different areas it might also find a link there too," says Andrea Mcgrew a registered Dietitian with Freeman Health System who works with children on improving their nutrition.
She says although the study is interesting, children and their parents have a lot more to worry about than poor test scores.
"One of the main risks we are seeing more and more of is childhood diabetes. That and also there are some other things that can cause sleep apnea, increase the risk of asthma and also heart disease. We are seeing a lot of children that even have hypertension even as young as 8 and 9 years old."
Local educators are also highly invested making sure kids get the right nutrition.
They say even if a child is not necessarily obese, behavior can tell a lot about a their eating habits at home.
If you serve the right amounts of food to them for their breakfast and their lunch, they are going to be more likely to perform well in their studies, to be able to run and play. And you can tell the ones that don't eat as well, they'll just kind of sit around," says Diana Heckmaster Daycare Owner.
According to the U-S Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, obesity among youth has nearly tripled since 1980, currently 17 percent of children in the U.S. suffer from obesity.