Volume 6, Issue 2 (Summer 2012)
The Link Between Obesity and Academics: School Psychologists’ Role in Collaborative Prevention
Scott R. McCarthy, Lindsay M. Fallon, & Lisa M. Hagermoser Sanetti
ABSTRACT: Childhood obesity is linked to an increased risk for negative physical, social, emotional, and academic outcomes. Because obesity affects one in every six school-age children and may negatively affect academic achievement, schools are perhaps the setting best suited to offer collaborative services aimed at preventing and/or reducing the childhood obesity epidemic and associated negative outcomes. School psychologists have the relevant skills to coordinate obesity prevention, screening, and intervention efforts and are thus called upon to begin addressing this epidemic through coordinated efforts among school personnel. An overview of the current state of childhood overweight and obesity is provided, along with a review of evidence-based screening, assessment, prevention, and intervention practices for school settings. In addition, strategies and resources are provided to inform practitioners how they can best coordinate efforts in their districts. Implications for school-based practice are discussed.