Teasing over weight issues stimulates weight gain

National Institutes of Health

The latest research conducted by National Institutes of Health confirmed that youth who were teased over high weight problems were more likely to gain weight in comparison to youth that was not teased about weight issues. The study concluded that a 33% increase in body mass was to be observed each year among such a group.

The research underlines the contradictory fact that teasing might motivate youth to lose weight and change their behaviors. For the study, the team of researchers included a group of 110 youth. These belonged to the average age of 11.8 years at the time of enrollment. At the beginning of the study, the participants were either overweight or they had parents who were overweight or obese. Moreover, during registration, the participants were asked to fill a six-item questionnaire based on their experience of being teased about their weight. These participants then became part of annual follow-up visits for the next fifteen years.

The study was produced by collaborative efforts from a team of subject experts from NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. In addition, Natasha A. Schvey, Ph.D., of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD conducted the research study.

The results confirmed that youth that experienced extensive teasing gained an average of .20 kg which is about (.44 lbs) per year. The team of researchers reported that the stigma of weight gain was associated with weight gain problems among youth which indulged in activities of unhealthy behavior; binge eating, procrastinating exercises, are a few to name. The team drew another reason for weight gain among this group, it was reported that the stress of being teased stimulated the release of hormone cortisol, which further lead to reasons for weight gain.

The study is published in journal Pediatric Obesity.