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Monday, 27 September 2010

Teasing about weight and its affect on pre-teens

"We tend to think of adolescence as the time when kids become sensitive about their body image, but our findings suggest that the seeds of body dissatisfaction are actually being sown much earlier," said Timothy D. Nelson.

For the study, Nelson and his colleagues surveyed hundreds of public school students whose average age was 10.8 years. They collected participants' heights and weights and calculated their Body Mass Index, then examined the relationships between weight-related criticism and children's perceptions of themselves.

Their results showed that overweight pre-teens who endured weight-based criticism tended to judge their bodies more harshly and were less satisfied with their body sizes than students who weren't teased about their weight.

Because children who develop such negative views of their bodies are at higher risk for internalizing problems, developing irregular eating behaviors and ongoing victimization, researchers said these results should be a signal for more early identification and intervention efforts at schools.

"There's often a sense that overweight people 'deserve' it, or that if they are continually prodded about their weight, they'll do something about it," said Nelson




So what do you think?

Do children think about their body weight as much as this study suggests? Are weight-related criticisms found more in groups of girls or boys? Can pre-adolescent taunting really affect children for the rest of their lives?

And what should be done to try and stop this happening in schools?

Are weight issues a problem generated by the media? e.g. super skinny people in magazines and on the tv.
Or are they now being generated by the Health Authority by chastising those who are overweight?

What's your opinion?

Link to Article

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