Children labeled as ‘fat’ are prone to depression

Two young Vietnamese girls, Han and Hang, both 10 and 12 years old respectively, have faced criticism and teasing from their families and friends due to their weight. This has led to negative mental health outcomes for both girls. Han was diagnosed with stage 3 obesity after two months of following a strict diet and exercise routine under her mother’s supervision, which left her feeling constantly hungry, tired and sneaking snacks behind her family’s back. On the other hand, Hang avoided social situations and felt self-conscious due to the teasing she faced.

Both Han and Hang’s stories highlight the prevalence of mental abuse towards overweight children in Vietnamese families. Statistics show a rising trend in childhood obesity in Vietnam, with associated risks for mental health. Overweight and obese children are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and social isolation. This can have long-term consequences on their overall well-being and development.

Experts emphasize the importance of a supportive environment for overweight children, focusing on healthy lifestyle habits rather than weight loss. Parents play a crucial role in providing love, understanding, and psychological support for their children facing weight-related challenges. By addressing both physical and mental health needs, children can thrive and overcome the stigma attached to obesity.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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