US experts warn against the effects of stigmatizing obese children

“The stigmatization of people with obesity is widespread and causes extensive damage,” said the warning of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American. Obesity Society. In addition, “stigmatization” reinforces “behaviors such as binge eating, social isolation, prevention of health services, decreased physical activity and weight gain”, experts point out.

According to the experts, the stigmatization of overweight and obese children and adolescents has fatal social and emotional effects on those affected, which poses additional obstacles to healthy behavioral changes. As a result, sufferers often continue to grow. To avoid stigmatization of obese adolescents, even an unbiased behavior, linguistic adjustments and empathetic and empowering counseling techniques are required in addition to improvement of the clinical situation, the release of the AAP.

Overweight and obese children are often exposed to stigmatization, which in turn can have far-reaching consequences.

Overweight and obese children are often exposed to stigmatization, which in turn can have far-reaching consequences.

Stigmatization is counterproductive

The weight stigma is often propagated and tolerated by society, even on the assumption that stigma and shame motivate people to lose weight. But instead of motivating positive change, this stigma contributes to counterproductive behaviors such as binge eating or decreased physical activity, the experts explain. In addition, experiences of stigmatization also impair the quality of life, especially among young people.

One third of the children are overweight or obese

According to the AAP, more people in the United States suffer from obesity than any other chronic disease, with one third of children and adolescents overweight or obese. As many as 17 percent of children between the ages of two and 19 have obesity. “Although some promising signs suggest that the prevalence of obesity is stabilizing, rates remain unacceptably high and studies suggest that the rate of children with severe obesity will continue to rise,” according to the AAP.

Thinking in stereotypes leads to discrimination

Many efforts have been made to help children and adults achieve and maintain a healthy weight. However, many of these efforts do not address the social consequences of obesity, in particular stigma and discrimination, the experts explain. The stigma takes place in the form of a social devaluation of the person, because she is overweight or obese. It is often thought of in stereotypes, such as that persons with obesity are lazy and unmotivated or have a lack of willpower and discipline. “These stereotypes manifest themselves in different ways, leading to prejudice, social rejection, and manifest unfair treatment and discrimination,” the AAP continues.

Already three year olds with obesity are stigmatized

According to the experts, children and adolescents with obesity or obesity are victims of bullying and discrimination at an early age. A study of adolescents seeking weight loss treatment found that “71 percent were bullied for their weight last year, and more than one-third said it had been bullying for more than 5 years,” the statement said the AAP. Already three-year-old children are exposed to thinking in stereotypes. The stigmatization is not only done by peers but also by parents, other family members, teachers, healthcare professionals and society at large, including the popular media.

Recommendations to prevent stigmatization

The two US medical societies also make recommendations in their latest communication to prevent the stigmatization of overweight and adipose adolescents. Stigmatization has been proven to be an obstacle to prevention, intervention and treatment. First of all, awareness of the prevalence and the negative effects of stigma must therefore be increased. The clinical situation can be improved by modeling best practices for unbiased behavior and speech, as well as empathic and empowering counseling techniques, the experts explain. Motivational interviewing, addressing stigmatization and bullying, as well as continuing education programs for parents and families to tackle stigma at home and at school are some promising approaches here.

MeenaHEALTH TIPSoverweight children,Stigmatization
US experts warn against the effects of stigmatizing obese children 'The stigmatization of people with obesity is widespread and causes extensive damage,' said the warning of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American. Obesity Society. In addition, 'stigmatization' reinforces 'behaviors such as binge eating, social isolation, prevention of...