A research team from King’s College London has come up with a striking revelation that children with low self-esteem are usually more vulnerable to obesity when they grow adult.
The research study involving 6,500 respondents in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study disclosed that a majority of 10-year-olds with plummeted self-confidence levels are more prone to obesity during their old ages. Incidentally, the impact was found to be more profound in the case of girls, the study added.
An eminent obesity expert asserted that the results clearly emphasised the role of attention at childhood stage in dampening the impacts of obesity in later stages of life.
Children got their height and weight measurements noted at the age of 10 and they voluntarily reported back when they were in their 30s. In addition, their emotional states were also recorded at that time, researchers told the journal BMC Medicine.
The results disclosed that children with lower levels of self-confidence, those who developed a sense of self-dejection, and those who frequently remained in troubled states were more vulnerable to weight-gain over the span of two decades.
Commenting upon these thought-provoking findings, Professor David Collier, who spearheaded the research, said in a statement: “What’s novel about this study is that obesity has been regarded as a medical metabolic disorder – what we’ve found is that emotional problems are a risk factor for obesity.”
“This is not about people with deep psychological problems, all the anxiety and low self-esteem were within the normal range”, he added.
The research has eventually broken the long-standing notion about obesity being a medical condition explicitly related to metabolical disorder, and established a clear-cut relationship of a person’s emotional state with his/her chances of becoming fatter in adulthood.
Another researcher from the team, Andrew Ternouth, however, said that emotional state can’t be held solely responsible for adult obesity, but it does play a vital role along with other key factors like paternal weight, exercise schedules, and dietary habits.
He further suggested that measures to encourage social as well as emotional facets of learning, including boosting up self-confidence, have been at the focal point of contemporary research initiatives.
He also insisted that the aforementioned measures could be beneficial for physical health, along with other significant aspects surrounding children’s development.
Furthermore, Dr Ian Campbell, from the renowned charity Weight Concern, said that the study has given “some disturbing evidence”, as psychological problems in childhood have always been thought to being one of the prime causes of prospective weight gain and other health related issues.
He noted that a major proportion of obesity patients he work with have some recognisable causal psychological as well as self-esteem issues and are usually reluctant to have any sort of treatment.
Dr Campbell further stressed the need of “early intervention” to tackle the far-flung occurrence of adult obesity. He further called upon parents and teachers to play a more prominent role in combating this perpetuating problem.
This eye-opening research could turn out to be a great tool in helping medical practitioners, parents, and teachers to battle out the soaring incidences of fatness in adulthood in a more effective manner.