The Social And Psychological Ramifications Of Obesity Essay

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Many people struggle with obesity in the United States face on a daily basis. Its effects can be seen in adults and according to the World Health Organization, “25% of U.S. children are overweight or obese” (Hill & Peters, 1998, p.1371). Obesity disproportionately impacts children, which makes them the fastest growing group in the obese population. These children face many troubles in their schools and communities. The largest struggle is bullying, which is something that can affect them throughout their entire lives. Bullying can also cause other problems, including depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, suicidal ideation also known as ‘bully-cide’, and low quality of life. Children look to their peers for acceptance of their sense of identity, but bullying can create stigmas, causing support and acceptance to fall away. “The social and psychological ramifications induced by the bullying-victimization process may hinder the social development of overweight and obese youth, because adolescents are extremely reliant on peers for social support, identity, and self esteem” (Janssen, 2004, p.1187). Bullying can cause children to feel alone, therefore turning to food as a coping mechanism, which can increase the amount of obesity among children. It is important that children feel accepted and cared for by their peers. Being obese or overweight can lead to a number of medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome (Gray, 2009, p.721).
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