Childhood obesity, academic achievement, and school expenditures

Tami Gurley-Calvez, Amy Higginbotham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The authors examine whether childhood obesity affects student achievement and whether these effects differ by family income level. Although childhood obesity is a national concern, the issue is even more urgent in West Virginia where obesity rates for fifth graders are near 30 percent. Using a 2003-2007 panel of school district data, the authors find evidence that obesity negatively affects reading proficiency in high poverty districts, but obesity rates have little effect in lower poverty districts. The authors estimate that it would require a substantial increase in instructional education spending to offset the obesity effects on academic achievement in high poverty districts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-646
Number of pages28
JournalPublic Finance Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • academic achievement
  • education finance
  • health
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Childhood obesity, academic achievement, and school expenditures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this