Childhood Obesity Promotes Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a risk factor for poor mental health, especially anxiety and depression.

A new study by Wang and colleagues from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, published in Health Reports, reveals the importance of childhood obesity on the development of self-esteem.

Based on the data are from cycles 1, 2 and 3 of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, children who were obese at baseline had almost twice the odds of reporting low self-esteem four years later, compared with children of normal body weight. In contrast, baseline self-esteem was not associated with body weight status two or four years later.

The authors conclude that the current childhood obesity epidemic may trigger an increase in the population prevalence of low self-esteem in the future. Thus, the curent childhood obesity epidemic may increase the prevalence of not only chronic diseases, but also poor mental health.

Blaming, harassing, bullying and stigmatizing kids with excess weight will certainly do little to boost their self-esteem and virtually nothing to help them cope with their excess weight.

Edmonton, Alberta