Irena Barker

The psychological impact of obesity on children


Research suggests that children who are obese are more likely to suffer mental health problems than other children – and, among several damaging knock-on effects, it’s harming their attainment at school, finds Irena Barker

The psychological impact of obesity on children

Being the “fat kid” in school is a very physical experience: whether it’s your fellow pupils teasing you or the adults stressing about your size, the attention you receive is all about what you look like. The psychological side of your situation – ie, the fact that you actually have feelings – is often forgotten.

The focus from adults on physiological factors is understandable: faced with an overweight individual, it is intuitive to concentrate on physical health and improving it through physical interventions – exercise and diet being chief among them. But the experience of being an obese ...

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