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The Psychological Effects of Obesity and Bullying in Children

March 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 157

An obese child is more likely to be bullied than a normal weight child, declares Dr. Julie C. Lumeny, researcher in a 2004 study of boys and girls who fit the definition of obese, which is a category step heavier than the overweight category. She determined that it made no difference at all if an obese child was black, white or Hispanic, or male or female. Rich or poor, or A and B students alike are bullied if they are obese by 1.2 times more than normal weight kids.

We must try to have a basic understanding of what these young people have to bear in order to change this condition in homes and schools. Yes, some of the bullying comes from the home, as ignorance in parents and siblings persists.

As a result of just being obese, a child may feel depressed, anxious, socially isolated with low self-esteem and forced into functioning at a lower level. But, couple these disastrous conditions with intense emotions felt as a result of bullying of all kinds: bullying is for him/her a daily endurance of name-calling, teasing, ganging up, humiliation and ignoring. Victims without a doubt, they become perpetrators in order to defend themselves: this is one more layer of hardship for them as now they are not only offensive but defensive. They should feel safe and secure at home and in the school-yard, yet both can be battlegrounds. And sometimes, even the most dedicated of helping hands can be detrimental if they are showing, nationally, pictures of obese children with unflattering labels across their bodies.

It is not new information that overweight children are at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes, compared with normal weight children. Also easy to believe is that an overweight child advances into adulthood carrying his obesity with him. A conclusion made by a Colorado State University Extension study is: Obesity beginning before 8 years old and continuing into adulthood may be more severe than in childhood.

There have been a good number of interventions mentioned in the literature that may change the picture for obese children's lives:

  • Address this issue at individual and community levels.
  • Change the negative perception of obesity by peers. Future research should evaluate ways to modify these negative behaviors.
  • Doctors should incorporate bullying history into their regular check-up history and physical.
  • Doctors can open the conversation by asking the child if he has been bullied at home, school or on the playground, and then following up on the information he has attained from the child
  • Registered Nurses can put the bullying history of the child in his chart.
  • Doctors, Health Care Personnel, Parents, Siblings, and Teachers can be empathetic with the obese child and cease reinforcing the bad feelings.

We are a nation of fat people. Can we not stop this trend of fatness by starting with the OB nurse in the Obstetrics Ward of the Hospital? Here is an opportunity for all of us to have knowledge of what happens to our young ones as they face the world, to help them instead of hindering them. I say the OB nurse should have it in her/his teaching routine for new mothers--right at the very beginning of the lives of our babies--the mothers should be taught, along with all the other useful and necessary subjects, how not to feed their child too much or too often, that a healthy child is not necessarily a fat child. They can be taught how a healthy new baby looks and acts and what the mothers can look forward to as a future for their babies if they do not take charge in their kitchens and households to produce wonderful normal weight teenagers who walk uprightly into adulthood.

This means that you, parents, are in charge, even though you allow your children to have their say. You do the shopping, you pay for it and you have the control over who eats what! If you have a preventive way of thinking, the bad stuff never occurs and you do not have to rehabilitate it. This is one thing you cannot grow into gradually: you have to be prepared to meet it before it takes over your life.

Margaret Heaps is a native born Californian who sees life as not long enough to fit everything in. She has grass roots in Petaluma, California and Nicasio, California, where her great grandfather bought land from gold that he mined in the Gold Rush of 1848 and created a high yield dairy farm. With this background legacy, she married and raised six boys, went back to school and became a registered nurse; this was her profession for many years. Now that she has retired, her energy level still high, she has undertaken to build and market a new website:

Shop all day and all night on the internet. No hurry! We can serve you. Make the above URL work for you, and we will introduce you to a variety of physical fitness equipment at a reasonable price. See our exercise bicycles, wobble boards, punching bags for kids and adults, weight lifting iron, jumping ropes, Pilates, charts showing the muscles of the body, home gyms and much more.

Source: EzineArticles
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Obese Child


Normal Weight Child


Bullying History


Obese Perception Change


Obstetrics Nurse

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