Obesity in children can affect more than just their physical health. A study conducted found that as early as first grade obesity can affect a child’s mental health. Severely obese children can show signs of depression and can be withdrawn. Children can be ostracized due to their and experience loneliness, and aggression due to this. Obese children are more likely to drop out of school as a result. Severely obese children exhibited more mental health issues such as depression than children who were overweight and children of a healthy weight. Efforts to combat this should focus on early prevention of obesity in children. Interventions that seek to address the behavior of children can help to overweight and obese children avoid the stigma and teasing that can occur.
- 1Severely obese children are more likely to be withdrawn and show signs of depression
- 2One in 20 children in the United States is severely obese
- 3Addressing the behavior of peer groups can limit exclusion and teasing, and help students form friendships
Severe obesity is a clear psychosocial risk for children, even as early as six years old,” said Dr. Amanda W. Harrist, a professor of child development at Oklahoma State University who led the study.