How to talk to children with obesity

Weight stigma is a problem among children and adolescents. This has a number of health consequences including depression, low self-esteem, social isolation, poorer school performance, binge eating, decreased physical activity and worsening obesity.

The American Academy of Paediatrics and the Obesity Society have published a policy statement to raise awareness of weight stigma and to provide recommendations on how to reduce its negative effects. Key recommendations include:

  • Health professionals should use appropriate and sensitive language when discussing weight with families, help families to make behavioural changes through counselling and provide behavioural health screening to address depression, anxiety or low self-esteem.
  • Work with schools to implement anti-bullying policies.
  •  Provide weight stigma training in medical schools and ongoing training for health professionals.
  • Promote responsible media which does not stigmatize children and adolescents with obesity.
  • Empower parents to address weight stigma at home, school and in the wider community.

If you would like to find out more about weight stigma, take a look at some of the presentations given at our "All-island Obesity Action Forum: Stigma in obesity – a public health priority?" conference.

For tips on how to help your family take small steps towards a healthier lifestyle take a look at our START campaign. 

Posted: 23/11/2017 09:17:44 by Sarah Cassidy
Filed under: Adolescents, Children, Obesity, Stigma


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