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Living Well: Overweight Children Should Be Encouraged, Not Shamed, into Losing Weight

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The vast majority of children who are overweight or obese say they've been teased about their weight. 

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement, guiding doctors on ways to reduce weight discrimination; however, parents can help, too.

While it's important for doctors and families to help children lose extra weight if they're struggling with obesity, there's a new focus on what's happening with kids on the inside.

Weight stigma can lead to intense feelings of sadness and anxiety. Kids may react by isolating themselves. 

Most bullying and teasing about weight comes from peers. But often, kids say they feel stigmatized at home because family members focus on weight. 

Parents can help by not singling out one person trying to lose weight. The entire household can make dietary improvements and exercise together.

Currently, one in three children in the U.S. is considered overweight or obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also calling for more training in medical schools about weight stigma.

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