Ugeskr Læger 2005;167(10):1145-1148
Summary Overweight and obesity: social consequences, attitudes, self-esteem and quality of life, with a focus on children and teenagers Ugeskr Læger 2002;167:1145-1148 Young people are one of the groups with the fastest increase in overweight and obesity in Denmark. Overweight and obesity are also more frequently found in low-social-status groups. Obesity in childhood and adolescence may have social consequences in adulthood, such as downward social mobility. We found no Danish studies, but studies performed elsewhere on the consequences of obesity have found that the obese risk discrimination in hiring, fat women risk earning a lower salary and fat employees are at greater risk of being fired than are people of normal weight. Negative views about fat people are common, and these views seem to be shared by health care staff. Overweight and obese children are met with negative attitudes from other children as well. Nearly half of 15-year-old Danish girls are dissatisfied with their weight, and about one-third are engaged in weight control. Overweight and obesity are found to have little or no negative influence on children's self-esteem in general, but in children who are undergoing treatment for obesity, the quality of life was found to be at the same level as that of severely ill children. Health care staff often regard the treatment of obesity in children as difficult and are met by barriers such as lack of knowledge, lack of motivation and lack of parental support.