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Weight-Based Bullying Is The Most Common Form of Bullying in Youth

sharma-obesity-bullyingAccording to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the US, Canada, Australia and Iceland, published in Pediatric Obesity, weight-based bullying in children and youth is the most prevalent form of youth bullying in these countries, exceeding by a substantial margin other forms of bullying including race/ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion.

According to the almost 3000 participants in this study, parents, teachers and health professionals were seen as those with the greatest potential of reducing weight-based bullying.

In addition, the majority of participants (65-87%) supported government augmentation of anti-bullying laws to include prohibiting weight-based bullying.

While these findings may not strike anyone living with obesity as surprising, they should be a reminder to the rest of us that weight-based bullying, with all of its negative consequences for mental, physical and social health, is something to be taken very seriously and needs to be opposed as much as we would oppose any other forms of bullying.

Vancouver, BC

1 Comment

  1. Obesity in children is a product of ADULT behavior, and those adults are their PARENTS. Pediatricians and other health professionals, as well as teachers, are left to ‘clean up’ the mess that parents create. I cannot tell you how many times pediatricians refer to me because (a) I’m going to tell those parents what they don’t want to hear and what many pediatricians won’t (and can’t) tell them; and (b) because the pediatricians throw their hands up when they are dealing with parents who won’t even acknowledge there’s a problem … they accept fat and obesity in their kids as a new normal. And, of course you guessed it, 9 out of 10 times those parents are overweight and obese, and they don’t want to do a damn thing about their own weight. So, if they’re not willing to make the changes necessary in their homes, for themselves, those kids are left hanging in the wind. It’s almost criminal negligence … literally GIVING their kids a lifelong battle with their weight and related health issues. Shame on them.

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