Nerds, low-income youngsters, kids with allergies, LGBTQ youths, or students of color—it doesn’t take a repeat viewing of Mean Girls to know that children who are different tend to be on the receiving end of verbal or physical abuse from their peers. But there’s one characteristic that adults believe makes children more likely to be bullied than any other: being overweight.
About half of participants in a new study conducted by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut in Hartford identified weight as the most common reason youths are bullied by their peers —more so than race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.
Nearly 70 percent of participants agreed bullying of obese kids is a “serious” or “very serious” problem.
It’s just a matter of deciding if we have the collective will to do something about it.