Childhood Obesity and Self-Esteem

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Childhood Obesity and Self Esteem Evan Lester Kingsborough Community College Abstract The childhood obesity epidemic is rising dramatically and continues to be a problem. My hypothesis is that childhood obesity and low self-esteem are positively correlated. This paper explores several authors’ perspectives on the link between childhood obesity and low self-esteem. Swallen, Reither, Haas & Meier (2005) find a positive correlation between low self-esteem and childhood obesity for children ages 12-14, where as, Dempster, Muldoon and McCullough (2008) postulate that there is a positive correlation, regardless of age. Musher-Eizenman, Holub, Barnhart Miller, Goldstein & Edwards-Leeper (2004) find that preschoolers are more likely to reject obese children as playmates. Han (2008) discovers that there is a positive correlation between childhood obesity, low self-esteem and academic performance. Finally, Strauss (2000) found that children who are obese are more likely to suffer negative emotions such as sadness, and more likely to engage in self-destructive behavior such as smoking and drinking. For this reason it is important to understand childhood obesity and its impact on self-esteem. Based on the literature, I found that childhood obesity and low self-esteem are positively correlated. According to the Expert Committee Recommendations on childhood obesity (Expert Committee Recommendations, 2007) individuals from the ages of 2 to 18 years, with a BMI ≥95th percentile, but <95th percentile for age and sex, or BMI exceeding 30 (whichever is smaller), are considered obese. Childhood obesity is a growing problem. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980

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