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13 July 2007

Teasing starts at 3

As early as age 3, overweight children face teasing, rejection, bullying and other forms of stigmatisation from other children, a new study finds.

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As early as age 3, overweight children face teasing, rejection, bullying and other forms of stigmatisation from other children, finds a US study in the July issue of the journal Psychological Bulletin.

The researchers at Yale University and the University of Hawaii noted that overweight children who face social abuse are two to three times more likely to report suicidal thoughts and to suffer health issues such as eating disorders and high blood pressure, the Associated Press reports.

The study authors reviewed all research on children and weight-related bias conducted over the past 40 years.

"The stigmatisation directed at obese children by their peers, parents, educators and others is pervasive and often unrelenting," the researchers wrote.

They said discrimination against overweight children is as important a problem as racial discrimination or inequity suffered by disabled children, and needs to be taken equally seriously. – (HealthDayNews)

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