Obesity: bullying makes it worse
One of the reasons I help out at programs like Building Steam (where we get new runners ready to finish the Steamboat 4 mile race) is that such a program can help the currently out-of-shape, often overweight individual switch to a healthier life-style. This transition might not be so easy as the following article shows:
Bullying Creates Vicious Cycle for Overweight Kids
A new study suggests that constant bullying prevents overweight children from exercising, and all the teasing can make it harder to shed the pounds as an adult.
About one out of every five children is chronically bullied. Overweight kids are targeted more frequently, and oftentimes while in gym class or playing sports.
A bullied child will avoid situations in which they're teased the most, which for overweight kids sets up a vicious cycle that makes it more difficult for them to lose weight.
Researchers surveyed 100 overweight or at-risk-of-being-overweight children between the ages of 8 and 18 and found that as bullying rates went up, physical activity went down.
"The problem clinically is if kids are avoiding PE class or playing sports because of fears of negative peer relationships, their health status is affected," said study lead author Eric Storch of the University of Florida.