Thursday October 24, 2019

Teasing and Bullying Kids About Their Weight May Make Them Gain Even More

Youth experiencing high levels of teasing gained an average of .20 kg per year more than those who did not

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Teasing, Bullying, Kids, Weight Gain
The stress of being teased could stimulate the release of the hormone cortisol. Pixabay

Teasing and bullying overweight children could act as a catalyst in further increasing their weight by 33 per cent, compared to obese kids who do not suffer body shaming, a study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, appear to contradict the belief that such teasing might motivate youth to change their behaviour and attempt to lose weight.

The study involved over 100 youths who were an average of 11.8 years of age when they enrolled, according to Natasha A. Schvey, Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University in the US.

The participants were either overweight (defined as a body mass index above the 85th percentile) when they began the study or had two parents who were overweight or obese.

Teasing, Bullying, Kids, Weight Gain
Teasing and bullying overweight children could act as a catalyst in further increasing their weight. Pixabay

For the study, they completed a six-item questionnaire on whether they had been teased about their weight. They then participated in annual follow-up visits for the next 15 years.

The researchers found that youth experiencing high levels of teasing gained an average of .20 kg per year more than those who did not.

The research team theorises that weight-associated stigma may have made youths more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours, such as binge eating and avoiding exercise.

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Another possible explanation is that the stress of being teased could stimulate the release of the hormone cortisol, which may lead to weight gain, said the researchers. (IANS)

Next Story

Bad Breakups May not Trigger Weight Gain, Says Study

"The only thing we found was in the second study, women who already had a proclivity for emotional eating did gain weight after a relationship breakup. But it wasn't common," Harrison added

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breakups
The new survey asked whether participants had ever experienced the dissolution of a long-term relationship, and whether they gained or lost weight as a result.

That pint of ice cream after a nasty breakup may not do as much damage as you think. Despite the emotional turmoil, people on average do not report gaining weight after a relationship dissolution, says a new study.

According to the researchers, it has been well documented that people sometimes use food as a way to cope with negative feelings and that emotional eating can lead to unhealthy food choices.

“…our research showed that while it’s possible people may drown their sorrows in ice cream for a day or two, modern humans do not tend to gain weight after a breakup,” said study author Marissa Harrison, Associate Professor at Penn State University in the US.

Breakups can be stressful and emotional, it could potentially trigger emotional eating.

“Food was much scarcer in the ancestral environment, so if your partner abandoned you, it could have made gathering food much harder,” Harrison added.

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For the study, published in the Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, the researchers completed two studies to test the theory that people may be more likely to gain weight after a relationship breakup.

Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. (Representational image). VOA

In the first one, the researchers recruited 581 people to complete an online survey about whether they had recently gone through a breakup and whether they gained or lost weight within a year of the breakup.

Most of the participants — 62.7 per cent — reported no weight change.

For the second study, the researchers recruited 261 new participants to take a different, more extensive survey than the one used in the first study.

The new survey asked whether participants had ever experienced the dissolution of a long-term relationship, and whether they gained or lost weight as a result.

The survey also asked about participants’ attitudes toward their ex-partner, how committed the relationship was, who initiated the breakup, whether the participants tended to eat emotionally, and how much participants enjoy food in general.

While all participants reported experiencing a break up at some point in their lives, the majority of participants — 65.13 per cent — reported no change in weight after relationship dissolution.

“The only thing we found was in the second study, women who already had a proclivity for emotional eating did gain weight after a relationship breakup. But it wasn’t common,” Harrison added. (IANS)