Anxiety in Childhood May Lead to Obesity

Weight ScaleEveryone knows about comfort eating. But after researchers from King’s College London did a series of studies, it has become clear what kind of stress some people are trying to eat away. It turned out grievances and humiliation experienced in childhood may preserve themselves over the years and lead to gaining excessive pounds and obesity in later life. Physiologists also found how to improve this situation.

Back in 1980, British Birth Cohort Study involving 6 500 10-year-olds was initiated in England. Child psychologists studied self-esteem of boys and girls, their emotional characteristics and measured their body mass index (BMI).

Twenty-odd years later, the experts set out to analyze BMI and emotional state of at then already grown-up participants. Psychologists compared self-esteem of children and their emotional issues with their weight as grown-ups. They found that children with lower self-esteem, higher anxiety and other emotional issues were more likely to gain excessive weight in adulthood, with women being at a higher risk.

Scientists believe that early psychological support may help improve this problem. It requires the cooperation from parents, however. The reasons for low self-esteem and anxiety in children always lie in the family. It could be strained relationship between spouses, or parental attitude towards children – excessively strict upbringing, repeated humiliation, lack of attention or, on the contrary, a total absence of authority and control.

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