Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Adolescent struggles worse for obese teens

Posted Aug 11 2008 9:06pm
Adolescence pretty much sucks across the board. There's pretty much no getting around it. You're hormonal. You have zits. Your body is changing. The social pecking order is being cemented, and you become remarkably certain of where you are on it.



And there aren't very many places for fat kids. It was hard enough before, but with so much emphasis on the "obesity epidemic" now, fat is equated with ill health, sloth, and weakness. Which isn't good news.



A recent study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found "that traits such as obesity during adolescence that may increase the risk of attacks from peers can result in health and psychological struggles that remain through young adulthood." The authors studied not just bullying, but a wider phenomenon known as peer victimization.



[Researchers] examined peer victimization as a predictor of depression and body mass index in obese and non-obese adolescents. Adams explains that while peer victimization is comparable to bullying, bullying behavior typically involves one-on-one targeting while peer victimization can also entail victimization that can come from the peer group in general.



The study found that obese teens who were victimized by their peers were more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, low body acceptance, and depression.



The authors conclude:



"Victimization may not only reinforce the negative self-concepts that a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, may cause, but a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, will also make it more likely that the adolescent will be victimized indefinitely. In other words, the risk factors that strengthen the links in this pathway will also keep the pathway intact because it is also a risk factor for being victimized," Adams states in the report.



"Victimization may not only reinforce the negative self-concepts that a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, may cause, but a risk factor for victimization, such as obesity, will also make it more likely that the adolescent will be victimized indefinitely. In other words, the risk factors that strengthen the links in this pathway will also keep the pathway intact because it is also a risk factor for being victimized," Adams states in the report.



To me, this seems to indicate that the health problems seemingly associated with obesity aren't the result of actually being fat. They also have a lot to do with the stress of feeling vulnerable, not accepted as a person, and ashamed of their weight.



Maybe by putting less emphasis on weight and more on health and happiness, the so-called obesity epidemic may just correct itself. And millions of teens may find adolescence just a tiny bit easier.
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches