Childhood Obesity and the Bullies

Childhood Obesity and the Bullies

Childhood obesity has been a problem for quite a while now. Its one thing for adults to be overweight but seeing children in that condition can be hard to fathom. Yet it happens.

Recently, a study was conducted and published in the journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics on childhood obesity the relationship it has with bullying or what I call Peer Abuse. Also, they were trying to find whether or not certain backgrounds made them more vulnerable and if the child had good social skills or other characteristics that could protect them from being abused by their peers. The findings indicated that regardless of background, ethnicity, social class or any other area of their lives, if they were obese then that increased their chances of being abused by their peer group. Even those who had excellent social skills were not immune from the daily torture their peers served up.

Despite the fact that these children are being abused, another troubling factor is that some cases of obesity cannot be helped. Some families have genetic reasons as to why they are overweight and this cannot always be helped. Also, some of these snack foods for children do not help in fighting weight problems. However, what a child eats can be controlled. Overall, children who are obese deal with many health problems which lead to greater problems in adulthood. Despite all of this, when does it make it right to abuse someone because of their size? What right to we as humans have to make someone miserable because of something that cannot always be helped?

Parents, guardians or any other adults, please talk to your children about kindness. Explain to them that sometimes these things cannot be helped and could be genetic. Let them know that these kids deal with enough problems being overweight and do not need the added stress which comes from this abuse.

A book on bullying and childhood obesity from my childhood is Blubber by Judy Blume. One of the bullies in the book does get her comeuppance but the leader of the pack does not. However, it is a good resource in educating on the rights and wrongs of this problem. We want all of our children to grow up to be healthy and happy. However, when a child is relentlessly abused, this may not always happen. Sure is something to think about.

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