No, really?

USA Today discovered that — guess what! — fat kids are more likely to be bullied.

Researchers at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor analyzed the bullying incidents of 821 children ages 8 to 11.

The study, reported today online in Pediatrics, found that obese children were more likely to be bullied than normal-weight peers, regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status, school demographic profile, social skills or academic achievement.

“This study speaks to the deep prejudice against children who are obese,” says lead author Julie Lumeng, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan. “They are viewed as lazy and lacking in self-control, but we know the reasons for obesity are so much more complex than that.”

Oh, and other studies show that obese kids that are bullied have more depression and anxiety than their peers.   Kind of like adults in that respect, you think?

I should note the article doesn’t, at least, encourage just adding a little diet or exercise to rub out that nasty fat.  But I’m sure lot of people will add that themselves.

15 thoughts on “No, really?

  1. My first thought was that it was sad that most people are going to consider the “cure” for this problem to be to put the fat kids on a diet rather than making the a$$hole kids learn how to not be bullies…

    • Yes, this.

      And for those of us who were fat children because of emotional eating*, the bullying/discrimination won’t add at all to the binging. Oh, no, not at all.

      *disclaimer: I do not think all people are fat just because they are emotional eaters!

  2. Hey, wait, fat people (including children) are discriminated against and looked down upon?

    NO WAYZ.

    Gimme a break. These studies are only done to grow evidence that the nanny state needs to thrust its grimy hand into the lives of these children to ‘fix’ them ‘for their own good.’

    And:

    “They are viewed as lazy and lacking in self-control, but we know the reasons for obesity are so much more complex than that.”

    How I read it:

    “They are viewed as lazy and lacking in self-control, which is a totally valid point but doesn’t paint the whole picture (those naughty parents and HFCS are to blame, too).”

    But hey, I am a cynic.

  3. That doesn’t even begin to cover how Michelle Obama’s little program to shape up fat kids is going to add to the bullying and make it seem ok because, after all, even the President’s wife thinks fat kids need to get thin (she even put her daughters on a diet so they won’t get fat, so that’s going to add fuel to the fire for those bullies, not to mention justification).

  4. Boy, everyone’s in a crabby mood today. This is an awesome thing! There is an article in a top selling newspaper pointing out that hatred of fat children is a serious problem, and that parents should teach their children not to bully and that the causes of fat are more complex than the views of people who have a “deep prejudice”. I don’t see anything other than reason to cheer, here!

    • True, it’s good to have some validation that it’s not just in our heads. It could be that a lot of people assume small (short, petite, skinny) kids get bullied and fat kids don’t.

      But this just struck me as such a “this is NEWS?” that I had to vent. So maybe I was just crabby ;)

      • Talk about being late to the discussion… heh. Anyhow.

        There is, imo, one very positive thing that came out of that study: it made clear that the kids were bullied purely for being fat, not because they “lacked in self confidence” or had “weird fat kid personalities” or whatever. There is no other reason, and hiding behind the “well, it could be that fat kids are bullied because whatever personality trait makes them fat is also making other kids dislike them” is not an option.

  5. I guess it’s just the frustration of it all Trabb. I mean, common sense and, for some of us, our own personal history of this kind of thing being endured during our school years and beyond, the article seems to just be stating the obvious.

    As for it appearing in a mainstream newspaper like USA Today, that’s gonna reach a lot of people, that thrills me. I have never believed, even as a child, that bullying made you stronger or built character. I believed, even then, that it does exactly the opposite. It tears down confidence, depresses the hell out of you, makes you fearful, and creates deep shame not based on any act you committed (which you could possibly change) but on the body you were born with (which is much more difficult to change).

    “Deep prejudice” indeed. If the skin fat bodies lived in became one color (say, purple) once it reached the obesity state, then it would be so clear that it is indeed a form of prejudice and people would make hate laws to protect us. Not that that would change things, but at least there would be some form of action that could be taken in the aftermath.*

    *I’m fully aware of my white lady middle class privilege and am not trying to downplay the devastating effects of racial prejudice endured by millions in the past and today.

  6. “They are viewed as lazy and lacking in self-control, but we know the reasons for obesity are so much more complex than that.”

    People have given themselves and each other license to bully them, and this is one of the “rationalizations” to salve conscience pangs.

    And I’m sorry Trabb’s Boy, but I don’t think people really give a crap. We have been told times without number that people want fat children/adults to feel bad and to suffer.

    In that context, I can’t help wondering whether the purpose of this type of resport is to invoke sympathy or to say, “yep, everyone’s on board with this behaviour, so you’re not alone.”

  7. OMFG, DUHH!! And it doesn’t help when your mom reads you stories about Gandhi and Jesus between lectures on dieting and telling you that you shouldn’t hit back when someone kicks you to see your body shake. If I had a child getting harassed like thatl, I’d transfer or homeschool. I’ve never been to a class reunion and I never will.

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  9. Pingback: May at Living ~400lbs « Living ~400lbs

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