We are all likely knowledgeable about the unfavorable impact that excess weight can have on our kids' physical health, but what about the effect of obesity on their psychological and emotional health?
Because there isn't a clear and consistent relationship in between weight and mental health, not as much is understood about this subject. Not all thin children are happy and not all overweight or overweight children are sad.
What we do know is that kids who are overweight or overweight often face weight-related stereotypes, social exemption and discrimination. Handling these difficulties can contribute to anxiety, anxiety, low self-confidence and poor body image. Furthermore, we understand that children who are obese suffer from a lower health-related quality of life. Studies show that adolescents and children who are overweight report a lifestyle that is comparable to children who are diagnosed with cancer and are receiving chemotherapy.
In spite of a rise in public awareness and zero-tolerance policies in lots of schools, weight-related bullying-- especially cyber bullying-- is a typical experience for numerous overweight kids, and can have a terrible influence on their emotional wellness. Obese kids, especially those with low self-confidence and poor body image, are at a higher risk of being victims of bullying. A vicious cycle can then be set into movement:
Weight-related bullying can result in an increase in unfavorable sensations consisting of anxiety and signs of anxiety like irritation, unfortunate state of mind, low energy and fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and a lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. This can result in emotional consuming, which can then lead to additional weight gain, which might cause increased bullying, which then starts the cycle all over again.
Women tend to be more vulnerable to the unfavorable effect of weight-related bullying due to the significance of body image often placed on their self-confidence and self-worth.
What is most concerning is the relationship in between bullying and suicide, specifically in overweight youth. Overweight kids who are victims of weight-related teasing or bullying are 2-3 times most likely to report ideas of suicide or to take part in self-harming habits, such as cutting. This is a disconcerting statistic.
Sadly, there isn't a quick fix and reducing weight doesn't constantly make the issues disappear. However, increasing awareness of not just the physical impact, however the psychological effect of obesity on children and teens, is a good place to begin.
At the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, we have a multidisciplinary group that believes in treating the mental and physical effects of obesity. Speak to your child's pediatrician about a recommendation or call the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition to get more details or request an appointment.
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