Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me! So not true. Name calling can be just as painful sometimes even worse than physical harm. Often times we see children that are bullied have issues with their weight either eating too much or not eating at all.
Children often turn to food as a comfort when they are being bullied. Sugar and carbohydrates give a temporary (and I must stress temporary) euphoric feeling. Children are trying to fill the pain that they feel with food. Sneaking food, eating when they are not hungry, stuffing themselves with junk food are all signs that something is bothering them emotionally.
On the flip side children often stop eating and lose weight because they physically do not feel like eating due to the stress of being bullied. They often don’t eat if someone has made fun of their physical appearance – being overweight, having a fat rump…. They somehow feel that if they were thinner they would not be bullied. To make the situation worse they often exercise for hours at a time becoming very weak and frail.
Obsessive compulsive overeaters, binge eaters, bulimics, anorexics and exercise anorexics are all very serious issues. In all cases something needs to be done before they have a life long struggle with their weight. There are many programs such as Weight Watchers that can help kids that are overweight. For children that refuse to eat it is best to see a social worker or physician that deals with eating disorders.
The problem really is not the food but what is eating them.