mental health

Ask The Experts: What do you know about weight bias?

Dr. Barry Panzer, Ph.D, ACSW, BCD
Mental Health Consultant, Live Light Live Right

Overweight and obesity in childhood can be the first step in the development of diabetes, heart disease and other serious adult health problems. However, weight bias – the emotional and sometimes physical mistreatment due to excess weight – can begin early and last a lifetime. Teasing, name calling, exclusion form athletic and social activities by peers and physical bullying have been regarded as the main cause of psychological and social problems in children with obesity. Continue reading →

Childhood obesity is a mental health problem too

Childhood obesity affects more than just body weight. Many overweight and obese children also struggle with emotional, behavioral and peer problems. Studies have shown that they suffer disproportionately from negative self-regard, diminished quality of life and some psychiatric disorders.

It’s something we see in our own program everyday. A Live Light Live Right clinic based survey found that nearly half of overweight or obese children suffered from a depressive disorder and a quarter of them met the criteria for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or ADHD.) Obese youth with these dual diagnoses require comprehensive and integrated treatment as the two conditions may be mutually reinforcing. Continue reading →