Adolescents bullying and young adults body mass index and obesity: a longitudinal study

Mamun, A. A., O'Callaghan, M. J., Williams, G. M. and Najman, J. M. (2013) Adolescents bullying and young adults body mass index and obesity: a longitudinal study. International Journal of Obesity, 37 8: 1140-1146. doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.182

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads

Author Mamun, A. A.
O'Callaghan, M. J.
Williams, G. M.
Najman, J. M.
Title Adolescents bullying and young adults body mass index and obesity: a longitudinal study
Journal name International Journal of Obesity   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0307-0565
Publication date 2013-08
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/ijo.2012.182
Open Access Status
Volume 37
Issue 8
Start page 1140
End page 1146
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To examine whether adolescent males and females who were victims of bullying were at greater risk of a higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity by young adulthood.

Design: Secondary analysis of data from a community-based cohort study.

Subjects: A sub-sample of 1694 offspring (50% males) who were participants in the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP), Brisbane, and who provided bullying information at 14 years and physical assessment at 21 years.

Main Outcome Measures: BMI and its categories as normal, overweight or obese at 21 years.

One in two adolescent males and one in three adolescent females reported that they had been bullied at school by others. We found that adolescent males and females who were bullied were at a significantly greater risk of a higher BMI and obesity by young adulthood. Fourteen-year-old males who were occasionally/often bullied at school had 0.64 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.02, 1.27) kg m2 greater mean BMI by 21 years compared with males who were never bullied by 14 years. This mean difference in BMI was 1.52, (95% CI: 0.75, 2.29) kg m2 for females. Similarly, the odds of being obese were 2.54 (95% CI: 1.58, 4.09) times at 21 years for those males who were bullied occasionally/often compared with adolescent males who were never bullied. For females, this was 2.18 (95% CI: 1.40, 3.39). Overweight adolescents who experienced bullying had the greatest increase in BMI by young adulthood. Adjusting for potential confounding or mediating factors, the associations remain strong for males but are attenuated for females.

Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that both male and female adolescents who were bullied often/sometimes by their peer group at 14 years were at greater risk of higher BMI and obesity by young adulthood.
Keyword Adolescents
Peer victimization
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Medicine Publications
School of Social Science Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 12 Dec 2012, 15:19:17 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Public Health