Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput is co-author on a paper, “Long duration of stressful homework as a potential obesogenic factor in children: A QUALITY study,” that was recently published in Obesity. Citation details and a summary of the paper are below.
Michaud I, Chaput JP, O’Loughlin J, Tremblay A, Mathieu ME. Long duration of stressful homework as a potential obesogenic factor in children: A QUALITY study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Apr;23(4):815-22.
ABSTRACT: Objective. To examine for the first time whether stressful mental tasks are associated with an unfavorable anthropometric profile in children. Methods. A cross-sectional analysis was undertaken in 511 children. A complete anthropometric profile was assessed, and children reported their homework duration and the presence/absence of stress related to schoolwork. Accelerometers and questionnaires provided the other profile of lifestyle components. Results. Homework duration was not related to adiposity indicators in children not stressed by schoolwork. In boys stressed by schoolwork, significantly higher total and trunk body fat percentages were obtained in the high versus low duration of homework group. No difference in adiposity indicators was present in boys not stressed by schoolwork and in girls. A reduced activity level and an increased screen time partly mediated the relationship between homework and anthropometric profiles. Conclusions. Boys with a high workload of homework, when combined with the presence of schoolwork-related stress, have unfavorable adiposity indicators. This study suggests that more attention should be paid to stressful mental work as a potent risk factor for obesity.