While the health risks from obesity are quite well-known, the psychological effects of childhood obesity can be equally as devastating. Overweight youngsters are often teased – by both their peers and adults. They are frequently considered to be less desirable to have as friends. Jokes poking fun at overweight people are common in our society. While growing up, obese children are forced to endure psychological barbs and social discrimination. As a result, they often suffer with low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy, and typically are looked at as the source of their own problem.
Many social situations are potentially embarrassing for the child with excess weight. Appearing in gym classes or public swimming pools where they have to wear more revealing clothing becomes a difficult time. Those who play competitive sports often suffer the humiliation of being the last ones chosen for teams.
Studies have revealed that obese children typically perform more poorly in school than their normal weight peers, and often have lower grade point averages. As they mature into young adults, they have more difficulty gaining acceptance into college and finding jobs and future promotions. It is certainly no wonder that over time these childhood experiences lead to low self-esteem and poor self-confidence. This can be the beginning of an unfortunate cycle of social isolation, emotional withdrawal, depression, inactivity, more overeating, and even further weight gain.
Aquatint yourself with the warning signs HERE.