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Study finds childhood obesity linked to social anxiety

By: Troy Jacobs

13 April 2020

Childhood obesity is a growing health epidemic in America. About 13.7 million children are considered obesse, according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control


This chronic disease is commonly associated with serious health risks including heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and breathing problems. 


One of the most ignored illnesses associated with obesity is depression and anxiety. 

According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information study, teasing and bullying have pervasive effects on childrens’ emotional health. The study found that obese children had significantly lower self-esteem and were six times more likely to be bullied than normal-weight children. Obese children also showed poorer school preformance and social involvement.


Obesity is mainly developed during adolescence. Lifestyle issues are the No. 1 cause of obesity. Children who endure physical abuse at home will cope with their problems by overeating -- also known as stress eating.


According to Eating Behaviors study, low-income families had the highest amount of obese children due to their socieconomic living. These families have limited access to fresh food, which leads them to buying cheaper convenience foods like chips and frozen pizzas.  


Body max index, or BMI, is used to determine if someone is obese. The person’s weight, height and age are calculated to a certain number. If their BMI is 30 or higher, they fall within the obese range. Athletes may have a higher BMI due to their muscular builds, which does not mean they are at risk of obesity.


The NCBI says simple family intervention is the best way to decrease childhood obesity. Parents or guardians should limit their child’s sugar consumption and replace it with healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains. Parents should also engage their children in active recreational activities like dancing or cycling.  

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From 2000-2016, childhood obesity increased by about 5%, according to the CDC.

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