lunes, 15 de agosto de 2011

Childhood Obesity: Issues of Weight Bias ► Preventing Chronic Disease: September 2011: 10_0281

full-text ► Preventing Chronic Disease: September 2011: 10_0281: "SPECIAL TOPIC
Childhood Obesity: Issues of Weight Bias

Reginald L. Washington, MD

Suggested citation for this article: Washington RL. Childhood obesity: issues of weight bias. Prev Chronic Dis 2011;8(5):A94. Accessed [date].


Although the effects of obesity on children’s physical health are well documented, the social consequences of obesity are less well described and may not be addressed in intervention programs. Weight bias may take several forms. It may result in teasing and discrimination and may affect employment and educational opportunities. Health care providers may limit care of overweight or obese children. The media promote weight bias in multiple ways. Some parents are biased against their obese children. In an effort to avoid weight bias, new efforts to reduce obesity must be evaluated to determine whether these efforts do, in fact, add to the problem. It is important to understand that the weight bias that obese youth face is just as serious as the physical consequences of excessive weight on the welfare of the child


The obesity epidemic continues in the United States. Although the effects of obesity on the physical health of children are well documented, the emotional and social consequences of obesity are less detailed and not as well understood, and therefore are often ignored. The emotional consequences of obesity include low self-esteem, negative body image, and clinical depression (1). Any action or policy that exacerbates these consequences is considered a serious ethical problem. Obesity affects social health as well. These social effects often take the form of weight bias or stigma. This article summarizes what is known about weight bias based on selected reports. It is not intended to be a review of the literature. I hope that the opinions offered will increase interest in weight bias and its effects on children and generate further discussion.


This article highlights ideas generated and conclusions reached at the Symposium on Ethical Issues in Interventions for Childhood Obesity, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Data for Solutions, Inc.

Author Information

Reginald L. Washington, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, 1719 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80218. Telephone: 303-839-6100. E-mail: Dr Washington is also affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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Obesidad infantil: Problemática por los prejuicios contra el peso
Reginald L. Washington, MD

Citación sugerida para este artículo: Washington RL. Obesidad infantil: Problemática por los prejuicios contra el peso. Prev Chronic Dis 2011;8(5):A94. Consulta: [fecha].


Pese a que los efectos de la obesidad en la salud física de los niños están bien documentados, hay menos información sobre las consecuencias sociales de la obesidad y puede que no se aborden en los programas de intervención. Los prejuicios contra el peso se pueden dar de muchas maneras. Pueden llevar a burlas y discriminación y pueden afectar las oportunidades de educación y empleo. Los proveedores de atención médica pueden limitar el servicio para los niños obesos o con sobrepeso. Los medios de comunicación fomentan los prejuicios contra el peso de muchas maneras. Algunos padres tienen prejuicios contra sus hijos obesos. Con el fin de prevenir los prejuicios contra el peso, se deben evaluar los nuevos esfuerzos para reducir la obesidad, para determinar si realmente ayudan o lo que hacen es agravar el problema. Es importante entender que los prejuicios contra el peso que los jóvenes obesos enfrentan son tan graves como las consecuencias físicas del peso excesivo en el bienestar de los niños.

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