Friends shun fat teens

Washington: Obese teenagers are often shunned by their peers, according to a study using social network analysis to clarify the role of obesity in adolescent friend selection David R. Schaefer, Associate Professor at School of Human Evolution and Social change said they found consistent evidence that overweight youth choose non-overweight friends more often than they were selected in return.

Also, overweight youth were mostly indifferent to the weight status of their friends and they often try to reach out to non-overweight peers for friendship but are usually turned down, resulting in fewer friend for overweight youth.

Sandra D. Simpkins of the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics said friendships are an important sources of support and companionship and having less or no friends often leads to higher depression, lower self-worth and ultimately major health issues in young people.

She further suggested that it’s important to keep in mind that the key is that the friends should be supportive regardless of the number of the friends’ teens have.

The research was published in the American Journal of Public Health by Arizona State University



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