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Are overweight and obese youths more often bullied by their peers? A meta-analysis on the relation between weight status and bullying

Abstract

Research suggests that overweight and obese youths are stigmatized in contemporary society, and are more likely than normal-weight youths to become the victims of bullying. In the current study, meta-analyses were performed to analyze to what extent overweight and obese youths are more likely than normal-weight youths to be the victims of bullying. The databases Psychinfo, ERIC and Medline were searched for relevant articles. Retrieved articles were scanned to find further articles. Language was not used as an exclusion criterion. A total of 14 articles (N=55 231) were included in a meta-analysis on bullying and overweight youths, and a total of 16 articles (N=58 520) were included in a meta-analysis on bullying and obese youths. The results suggested that both overweight and obese youths were more likely to be victims of bullying. The results were not moderated by gender, overweight and obese boys and girls were equally likely to be victimized. Results remained significant after adjustment for publication bias. Both overweight and obesity are risk factors for being a victim of bullying.

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Correspondence to M van Geel.

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van Geel, M., Vedder, P. & Tanilon, J. Are overweight and obese youths more often bullied by their peers? A meta-analysis on the relation between weight status and bullying. Int J Obes 38, 1263–1267 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2014.117

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