A study shows that 'obesity' is the main reason why children in grade-school years have the tendency to isolate themselves. The researchers monitored more than 3,300 Australian children for 4 years starting from preschool.

Measurements we're taken particularly the weight and height of the kids. Information we're obtained from primary caregivers. Questionnaires regarding the children's mental health problems and quality of life we're given to parents and teachers and asked them to answer every question.

At the age of 4 and 5, 13% of boys and 16% of girls we're determined as overweight. Five percent of both genders are obese.

There is a 20% chance that obese kids who's at age bracket of 4 and 5, have the tendency to face struggles in peer relationships when they reach ages 8 and 9 compared to kids that have normal weight. According to parents and teachers, rejection, teasing, problems in gaining friends and not being discriminated from social activities are the known struggles of obese children.

Size Does Matter

The results from previous studies became more prominent in older children and adolescents that have excessive weight and obese are more isolated, disconnected from social networks and stigmatized compared to normal-weight ones.

According to professor and head of the Research and Evaluation Unit at the University of Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital, the one who researched for this study, Michael Sawyer, explained that obesity may cause distress to the mental well-being of the obese children in many ways.

Sawyer said that obese children might think that they will be a target of criticism of other children same with their age. The attitude and perception of an adult towards body size can be the second reason why children with normal size mimic it.

Both of these can be a burden to obese children and makes it painful to them. "These things are potential risk factors for later mental health problems," Sawyer explained.

Those experts who are not involved with the study made an approval that these reasons can affect self-esteem. The experts liked the idea of making parent and teachers involve in the study.

Roya Samuels, MD, liked the study because it focused on the how it can affect the mental aspects associated to obesity. This is a kind of topic that lacks attention because most of the researchers only focus on the physical outcomes.

Samuels also said that it is not just the physical ailments that we need to know about obesity, we have to focus also on the psychosocial development as well.

Sawyer advised parents to work hard in order for their children achieve the appropriate nutritional guidelines, help their children participate in activities that can aid them achieve or improve fitness and seek out possible activities that can promote peer relationships.

"It is very important for their future health that we reduce rates of obesity among young children in our community," Sawyer stated.