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The impact of obesity on psychological well-being.

Author information

1
CR-UK Health Behaviour Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 2-16 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK. j.wardle@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Children and adolescents with obesity face stigmatization and discrimination in many areas of their lives, and it has been assumed that their psychological well-being will be compromised as a result. This chapter examines the most recent empirical evidence on the relationship between childhood obesity and body dissatisfaction, self-esteem and depression. Studies of clinical samples typically report poorer psychological well-being in treatment seekers when compared with population-based obese and normal weight controls. However, research in community samples suggests that despite moderate levels of body dissatisfaction, few obese children are depressed or have low self-esteem. A number of important moderators and mediators of the association between obesity and well-being have emerged, with females, Caucasians and adolescents being particularly at risk. Implications for treatment and future research priorities are suggested.

PMID:
16150384
DOI:
10.1016/j.beem.2005.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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