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Natasha Schvey '02

May 31, 2019

Natasha Schvey '02 was featured on NPR on 05.30.19 for her work on a study that showed that children who are bullied about their weight tend to gain more: "School can be tough on kids who have overweight or obesity. They're often cruelly teased and bullied. And this type of bullying may lead to long-term consequences, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Pediatric Obesity. The study, conducted by researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and the National Institutes of Health, found that making fun of kids for their weight is linked to increased weight gain well into adulthood — and the more teasing that kids and teens experience, the more weight they may gain. 'There's this school of thought that says [weight-based] teasing might have a motivating effect on youth,' says study author Natasha Schvey, assistant professor of medical and clinical psychology at the Uniformed Services University. 'This study shows that that's not only not true but that teasing might increase weight gain over time.' To assess the link between teasing and weight gain, the authors recruited 110 children and young teens (average age was about 12 years) who were either overweight themselves or who had two parents with overweight. Having parents with overweight classifies children as at risk for being affected by overweight or obesity later in life. During their first visit, the kids were asked to report whether they had been made fun of based on their size. Among participants with overweight, 62% reported they had been teased about their weight at least once, while 21% of straight-size, at-risk participants reported they had been. The researchers followed up with these kids for an average of 8.5 years, some for up to 15 years." Read the whole article here

See also: 

People, 05.31.19
Forbes, 05.31.19