The past post explored the role of government in making changes to the society. This post is going to be exploring the result of a child growing up overweight or obese. Children growing up overweight or obese are faced with many challenges. They have physical disabilities which can lead to psychological disabilities as well.
A Yale University study found the stigmatization of an obese child can start as young as three years old (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 1). Children do not have a problem with pointing out their peers that are overweight, and often it is not done in a discrete way and is done in front of other overweight people (Warren and Smalley 99). This is a form of bullying, teasing, and rejection (“Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic” 1). The children who are picking on the overweight children view them as being less disciplined, less popular, and more self-indulgent (Warren and Smalley 99). Being characterized like this at a young age can take a toll on their psychological well being since they are at an age when they are vulnerable to the influence of their peers (Warren and Smalley 99).
Studies have shown that overweight children have a hard time establishing and maintaining friendships since they have previously been socially marginalized by their peers (Warren and Smalley 106). They have less of a support system and deem to be less liked than their classmates who are normal weight (Warren and Smalley 106). If they do have friends they feel less cared about (Warren and Smalley 106). This is the sad reality of many children as they are growing up with these insecurities about their weight. Weight and friendship have not traditionally been associated but in today’s society they are. These children are the ones who need the most social support to help them lose weight. This verbal abuse happens inside the household as well (Warren and Smalley 103). “Almost half of obese girls and one-third of obese boys report being teased about their weight by their own families” (Warren and Smalley 103).
These children have few to turn to since some of the people they are surrounded by are verbally bullying and teasing them. They can be cyber bullied by peers who put pictures up of them or make public comments (Warren and Smalley 104). “Overweight children have been shown to have higher rates of depression, general feelings of worthlessness and inferiority, higher rates of suicide as well” (Warren and Smalley 101). The parents need to understand the psychological issues their child is encountering to know the warning signs (Warren and Smalley 101). The parents need to be the support system since they have few friends or siblings they can turn to for help and guide them to a healthy weight.
If these issues are not addressed while they are growing up they will continue to be issues as they become adults. Many have a difficult time learning in school because of developmental problems so they end up dropping out and are putting themselves at risk of not being able to find a job that is going to support them (Warren and Smalley 148). There are economic issues that are involved. The troubles with building relationships continue in the workforce (Warren and Smalley 133). This may limit their ability to be successful and may be a struggle throughout their life. The next post is going to be concluding on what has been learned and done on the childhood obesity epidemic happening in the United States.
United States Senate. “Childhood Obesity: Beginning the Dialogue on Reversing the Epidemic.”
U.S. Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 4 March
2010. Hearing. Web. 1 November 2013.
Warren, Jacob C. and K. Bryant Smalley. “Always the Fat Kid: The Truth About the Enduring
Effects of Childhood Obesity.” New York: Pagrave Macmillan. 2013. Print.