Growing up in a household where children have an average body mass index (BMI) of at least 30 pounds and have a BMI of 35 pounds or more, is the new normal for children and their parents, according to new research from Northwestern University.
Researchers found that the overweight child who grew up in an overweight household had lower self-esteem, a lower level of self-confidence, and lower self esteem among other children.
“These findings are consistent with the findings of previous research, which found that childhood overweight is a risk factor for later adult obesity,” the researchers said.
In their study, the researchers also found that children who grew-up in households with an obese parent were more likely to be obese at age 18.
They also found lower selfesteem among the children who were obese.
“Our findings show that overweight children who grow up in homes where their parents are obese are at higher risk for later obesity,” study co-author J. Michael Storfer, an associate professor of psychology at Northwestern, said in a statement.
The study, which was published online in the journal Pediatrics, is one of the first to examine the association between childhood obesity and subsequent body fatness.
The researchers say the association was especially strong for obese children.
“In particular, children with overweight parents had significantly higher rates of body fat, especially for the lower body, at age 20 compared to children whose parents were not overweight,” the study said.
“Children with overweight parent had also higher rates for waist circumference, abdominal fat, and waist circumference/abdominal adiposity, compared to their children’s children with normal weight parents.”
Children who were overweight in childhood also had lower scores on a scale measuring how much their parents value their appearance.
The authors found that overweight parents who were also obese had lower levels of self esteem, lower self confidence, lower levels and lower levels for their self-worth.
Children who grewup in overweight households were also more likely than their non-obese counterparts to experience bullying.
“Boys who grewups in overweight families were more than three times more likely compared to boys who grew ups in non-overweight households to experience physical aggression by their peers,” the authors wrote.
The research found that being overweight in adolescence is associated with lower self satisfaction and lower emotional well-being, which is known to negatively impact psychological well-function and life satisfaction.
“We do not yet know why childhood overweight children experience higher levels of psychological distress and lower life satisfaction, and whether these differences persist over time,” the scientists wrote.