Weight-Related Stigmatization: Effects on the Quality of Life of Obese Adolescents

  • N. R. Kelly
  • R. W. Gow
  • M. Stern
  • S. E. Mazzeo
Reference work entry


Pediatric obesity is a significant public health concern. Currently, over one third of children and adolescents in the United States are either overweight or obese. Complications associated with pediatric obesity include chronic health problems and impaired psychosocial functioning. Obese adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of weight-related stigma. The pervasive stigmatization of overweight and obese adolescents is well documented. Obese adolescents are often teased about their weight, bullied in school, and socially alienated by their peers. Research suggests that reduced psychosocial functioning or quality of life (QOL or health-related quality of life, HRQOL), including depressive symptoms, low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction, is a noteworthy outcome of such discrimination. Moreover, obese adolescents are at-risk for disordered eating behaviors, including binge eating and extreme dieting. Many obese adolescents seek weight-loss treatment to address the physical and psychological issues associated with overweight. The current chapter will review these psychosocial sequalae of obesity, focusing on QOL. Further, this chapter will briefly review surgical weight-loss interventions, one of the more novel (and potentially controversial) solutions proposed to address severe obesity and associated complications in adolescents.


Bariatric Surgery Obese Child Binge Eating Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Body Dissatisfaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


binge eating disorder


body mass index


Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


health-related quality of life


laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding


National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


quality of life


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. R. Kelly
    • 1
  • R. W. Gow
    • 2
  • M. Stern
    • 3
  • S. E. Mazzeo
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVA
  3. 3.Departments of Psychology & PediatricsVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVA
  4. 4.Departments of Psychology & PediatricsVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVA

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