The Effect of Being Overweight on School-Aged Kids
Posted Jul 04 2009 12:00am
The obesity epidemic is worsening and now 30% of children are overweight or obese. If your kids are overweight, do you ever think about how that affects them? A recent study looked at the social and behavioral development of 8,000 overweight school-age children from kindergarten entry through third grade. It was determined that those who were overweight from kindergarten through third grade displayed more depression, anxiety and loneliness than kids who were never overweight, and those negative feelings worsened over time. The researchers evaluated factors that have not been studied previously: age at becoming overweight and length of time being overweight. The results indicate that larger than average children, especially girls, experience social and behavioral challenges before they reach the 95th percentile of the Body Mass Index and are classified as being overweight. Girls who were consistently overweight, from kindergarten through third grade, and girls who were approaching being overweight were viewed less favorably than girls who were never overweight. Teachers reported that these girls had less positive social relations and displayed less self-control and more acting out than never-overweight girls.