Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being obese can attract bullies

Date:
May 3, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
New research shows obese children are more likely to be bullied regardless of gender, race, academic achievement, social skills or economic status.

Obese children are more likely to be bullied regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, social skills or academic achievement.

Those are the findings of the study "Weight status as a predictor of being bullied in third through sixth grades," which is available online now and will be published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics. Julie C. Lumeng, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, is lead author of the study.

Childhood obesity and bullying are both pervasive public health problems. Obesity among children in the United States has risen to epidemic proportions with 17 percent of 6 to 11 year olds estimated to be obese between 2003 and 2006. In addition, parents of obese children rate bullying as their top health concern and past studies have shown that obese children who are bullied experience more depression anxiety and loneliness.

The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between childhood obesity and being bullied in third, fifth, and sixth grades. While studies on bullying and obesity in children have been conducted before, none had controlled for factors such as socioeconomic status, race, social skills and academic achievement.

Further, this study is unique in that it specifically looks at the age range when bullying peaks -- ages 6 to 9.

Researchers studied 821 children who were participating in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. These children were recruited at birth in 10 study sites around the country.

Researchers evaluated the relationship between the child's weight status and the odds of being bullied as reported by the child, mother, and teacher. The study accounted for grade level in school, gender, race, family income-to-needs ratio, racial and socioeconomic composition of the school, and child social skills and academic achievement as reported by mothers and teachers.

Researchers found that obese children had higher odds of being bullied no matter their gender, race, family socioeconomic status, school demographic profile, social skills or academic achievement.

Authors conclude that being obese, by itself, increases the likelihood of being a victim of bullying. Interventions to address bullying in schools are badly needed, Lumeng adds.

"Physicians who care for obese children should consider the role that being bullied is playing in the child's well-being," Lumeng says. "Because perceptions of children are connected to broader societal perceptions about body type, it is important to fashion messages aimed at reducing the premium placed on thinness and the negative stereotypes that are associated with being obese or overweight."

While the study did not look into interventions to address bullying in this population, the hope is that these results could prove useful in doing so, Lumeng says.

Additional authors: Patrick Forrest, B.S., of the University of Michigan; Danielle P. Appugliese, M.P.H., of the Boston University School of Public Health; Niko Kaciroti, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan; Robert Corwyn, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock; and Robert Bradley, Ph.D., of the Arizona State University.

This work was supported in part by the American Heart Association Mid-west Affiliate Grant-in-Aid 0750206Z to Dr. Lumeng.

Journal reference: DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0774


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Being obese can attract bullies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503074251.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, May 3). Being obese can attract bullies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503074251.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Being obese can attract bullies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503074251.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins