If you've ever been a kid, you won't be surprised by the results of the latest study on childhood obesity and bullying, but you may be surprised at just how widespread the problem really is.
A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, evaluated the level of bullying that kids who are obese or overweight must face each day. For the study, researchers from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University developed an online survey to be completed by over 300 kids aged 14-18 who were currently enrolled in national weight loss programs. They used these surveys to get a better understanding of the kind of bullying these kids dealt with, including the location, frequency, duration, and types of bullies involved.
Not surprisingly, 64 percent of the participants reported getting bullied at school. The risk of bullying increased with the child's body weight. Most of the kids suffered bullying for at least one year (78 percent) while over a third (36 percent) had been dealing with bullying for five years. The most common bullies involved were the child's peers (92 percent) and even those kids that they considered friends (70 percent.) When the bully was an adult, it was most often a sport coach (42 percent), although teachers (27 percent) were often culprits as well. Most heartbreaking though was that over a third - 36 percent - of kids who were overweight or obese reported suffering bullying from their own parents.
In all cases, this bullying most often came in the form of verbal teasing (75 to 88 percent,) while cyberbullying (59 to 61 percent), and physical aggression (3 to 61 percent) were common as well.
All in all, the study exposes just how common bullying is for overweight and obese kids - and in how many areas of their lives they have to face it.