Some people look back on school fondly and for others, it was a complete and utter nightmare. Did you ever consider that whether or not your child has a healthy social life in school could depend on their weight? Recent studies show that the bullying of overweight kids doesn’t just happen in high school but can occur at ages as young as nine years old.
“The American Heart Association estimates that some one in three kids and teens are obese — a threefold increase since 1971. Moreover, children who are overweight or obese are more likely to face low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression, along with the heightened health risks associated with the condition.”
Not only do these overweight kids have their psychical health to be concerned with but they also have their mental health being challenged by their peers. When a child feels unaccepted and lacks a self-affirming social life it can lead to all sorts of unhealthy outcomes related to depression.
Kids might even eat more and exercise less for a loss in caring or go the opposite route and look to unhealthy eating disorders to slim down. While the study did not show why kids are making such quick judgments at such young ages, there is something you can do.
Encourage your kids to eat healthy
Encourage your kids to eat healthy and exercise, but also encourage them to be kind to kids of all shapes and sizes. Just remember a little more acceptance and a little less judgment can go a long way.
To learn more about the ways children react to childhood obesity refer to Kids Are Judging Their Overweight Friends & Science Tells Us Why.