By Staff Writer
It is commonly thought that most individuals who experience depression stemming from body image developed their negative attitudes during adolescence. However, a new study has shown that the damage – which often drives people to rehab facilities – may start at an even younger age.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska surveyed several hundred public school students whose average age was 10.8 years old. The questions asked about whether or not they experience bullying based on their weight and their perception of their own body image.
The results of the surveys showed that pre-teens who experience teasing due to their body weight are more likely to develop depressive symptoms and internalize their feelings, which can lead to problems later in life.
Researchers said that children who are victimized because of their weight should be identified at a younger age and given the opportunity to seek help from treatment centers, which may reduce the negative impact of teasing.
This may contribute to better outcomes of pediatric weight management programs, the study’s authors added.