If you remember P.E. class from school, then you can probably think of time when you saw the less physically fit students bullied by their peers.
This happens every day in schools across the country and is often dismissed as just kids being kids. However, a recent study has suggested that those who are subjected to this bullying may have their health seriously impacted in the long-term.
The reason for this impact is that these children who are bullied tend to exercise significantly less even a full year after the incident occurs. What this does is keep children who are already obese from getting their health back on track and pushes children who might have been at risk into obesity.
The Lasting Impact Of Avoiding Exercise
As children who are teased and subsequently avoid exercise and become obese, they suffer from a number of significant health risks. Children who are over weight have a higher likelihood of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and a number of other serious problems.
Furthermore, these youths who slide into obesity tend to have more difficulty socializing and lower self-esteem. All of these consequences of obesity are serious, and make it clear that something must be done to stop this trend of children being driven away from exercise by teasing. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Bullying is very common in most schools and can be difficult to ever completely eradicate even with significant time and effort.
What Can We Do To Stop This Trend?
It's clear that any approach to fighting obesity in children must be multi-faceted. While addressing the impact of bullying can be the first step, these children will not improve if things like teaching about proper nutrition and the dangers of obesity are not done. Even when these steps are taken, it can be difficult to bring about long-term improvement without the cooperation of the family.
It is the family that ultimately makes many of the decisions about health, exercise, and nutrition and it must be parents that make the choice to change their child's life. Without this important factor, no other attempts at fighting obesity will be able to make a significant impact.