Often overweight children are the victims of bullying and teasing not just in school but sometimes even parents say the wrong thing or tolerate in-home teasing. Dr. Rebecca Puhl of Yale University’s Rudd Food Policy Center has been studying how many overweight children are victims of bullying, what kinds of bullying and teasing they are experiencing and where and when it is happening. She is doing this to help all of us better understand how we may be intentionally, but more often, unintentionally hurting overweight children. Her research is aimed at trying to help families, schools and even doctors better care for our overweight children, so they grow up not only healthy but happy too.
Sadly, bullying and teasing affects many overweight children.Dr. Puhl’s research shows us that many overweight children face teasing, bullying and social isolation everyday.
For overweight sixth graders, 24% of the boys and 30% of the girls experienced daily teasing, bullying, and/or left out because of their size.
The number of children who are victims doubles for overweight high schoolers with 58% of boys and 63% of girls experiencing daily teasing, bullying and/or left out.
If you have have friends or family members who are overweight or obese, please make time to watch Dr. Puhl’s video. She gives us some great advice on how to help our overweight kids stay emotionally secure and safe.
Also CNN has an eye opening story about how a family unintentionally made a young girl feel terrible about her weight: cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/12/bullying.childhood.obesity