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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-21

Psychological impact of obesity in children

1 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine (for girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine (for girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Department of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine (for girls), Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Inass H Ahmed
Lecturer of Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine for Girls, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, 1356
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjamf.sjamf_98_19

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Background Obesity is a growing public health problem among both children and adults. Obesity comorbidities are not limited to somatic complications, but extend to involve several psychological consequences. Stigmatization represents a major psychological stress that adversely affects children’s self-esteem. Aim This study aimed to assess the prevalence of common psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder) in a group of obese children in comparison with those with normal weight. Participants and methods This case–control study included 60 children with obesity (BMI ≥95th age-specific and sex-specific percentiles) and 60 age-matched and sex-matched normal-weight children (BMI 5th–85th age-specific and sex-specific percentiles) as the control group. Detailed assessments of history and anthropometric indices of central and peripheral obesity, in addition to psychiatric assessment for depression, anxiety, and oppositional defiant disorder, were carried out. Results 46.7% of children with obesity were victims of bullying. Children with obesity have significantly higher rate of depression and low self-esteem in comparison with healthy peers. Girls were more affected than boys. There is a significant relation between depression and central obesity. The childhood depression inventory score is correlated directly to BMI and waist circumference. Conclusion Children with obesity are at a higher risk for depression, with the severity of depression correlated positively with BMI and central obesity.

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