Weight-based teasing in youth: Associations with metabolic and inflammatory markers

Natasha A. Schvey*, Lisa M. Shank, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, Sophie Ramirez, Deborah R. Altman, Taylor Swanson, Alex G. Rubin, Nichole R. Kelly, Sarah LeMay-Russell, Meghan E. Byrne, Megan N. Parker, Miranda M. Broadney, Sheila M. Brady, Susan Z. Yanovski, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Research among adults suggests that weight stigma is associated with worsened cardiometabolic health. However, these relationships have not been examined among youth. Objective: Assess associations between weight-based teasing (WBT) and metabolic and inflammatory markers among two samples of youth: (1) a non-treatment-seeking sample and (2) a weight loss treatment-seeking sample with obesity. Method: Weight, height, adiposity, waist circumference and blood pressure were measured. Fasting blood samples were collected for metabolic (triglycerides, glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and inflammatory analytes (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in Study 1 and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in both studies). Youths completed the Perception of Teasing Scale, a measure of WBT. Metabolic and inflammatory indices were compared between those with and without teasing, adjusting for demographics and body composition. Results: Study 1 enrolled 201 non-treatment-seeking youth (Mage = 13.1y; 54.2% female; 44.8% non-Hispanic White; 32.8% with overweight/obesity); 15.4% reported WBT. Study 2 enrolled 111 treatment-seeking adolescents with obesity (Mage = 14.0y; 66.7% female; 37.8% non-Hispanic White); 73.0% reported WBT. Adjusting for covariates, WBT was not associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in either study. Conclusions: WBT was not associated with worsened cardiometabolic health. Longitudinal research is needed to elucidate associations between WBT and health in youth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12729
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescents
  • children
  • inflammation
  • metabolic syndrome
  • weight-based teasing


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