Effects of weight teasing and gender on body esteem in youth: A longitudinal analysis from the REAL study


Weight teasing is associated with body dissatisfaction, but no study has examined the differential impact of the teasing source’s gender. This study examined whether the longitudinal relationship between weight teasing (by peers), weight-related comments (by parents) and body esteem differed by the teasing sources’ gender, and whether these relationships were moderated by victims’ weight status and demographic factors. A school-based sample (N = 1197 at Time 1; 60% female) of adolescents completed surveys over approximately 2 years (Time 1-Time 3). Multilevel modeling showed that teasing from a male peer had a stronger, negative association with appearance esteem for female victims than males. Although weight teasing was more prevalent among youth with overweight/obesity, teasing from female peers had a stronger negative association with weight esteem for adolescents of average weight. Results suggest the weight teasing sources’ gender may differentially impact the victims’ body esteem, and highlights the need to consider these factors in weight teasing prevention strategies.

Lead Researchers

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  1. Annick Buchholz

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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  2. Nicole Obeid

    Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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  3. Gary Goldfield

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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