Survey shows even after weight control success, some still bullied
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- Researchers conducted a survey comprised of 361 adolescents who were enrolled in separate national weight-loss camps. The study asked them about the extent and type of experience they had had due to their general weight. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.
The work is the first comprehensive study on weight-based victimization that affects youth who seek weight-loss treatment. The majority of those within the study reported being teased or otherwise bullied at school, with reports highest amongst those who were most heavy.
Many of the adolescents reported being victims for other a year's worth of time, and other reported being bullied for five or more years. Some were victimized even after losing their weight.
“While our findings suggest that teasing and bullying may be inevitable for the heaviest youth, it is striking that even formerly overweight youth who have lost weight and whose body weight is now considered healthy may still be vulnerable to weight-based victimization,” says lead author Rebecca Puhl, director of research at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
“It’s also concerning that over a third of adolescents reported weight-based victimization from parents,” Puhl adds. “These findings highlight the need for parental education so that parents can use more sensitive and supportive strategies when talking about weight-related health with their child.”
While peers and friends were the most common perpetrators of the onslaught of bullying, there was an alarming number of adolescents who reported being victimized by physical education teachers as well as parents, and teachers in various subjects.
Weight-based bullying was one of the most frequently experienced verbal tools to victimize followed by relational victimization (ostracized individuals outside contemporary peer groups), cyber bullying, and finally physical aggression.
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