Date of Publication
Objectives. To examine the association between bullying and obesity in Vermont high school students and to provide new insights on effective approaches for mitigating risk of both variables in the public health, healthcare, and teaching professions across Vermont.
Methods. Data came from the 2019 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (VYRBS) (n = 18,612). We analyzed the relationship between days bullied and obesity, controlling for the confounding effects of risky behaviors. We identified situations that led to increases in both primary predictor variables.
Results. Statistical analysis yielded a significant positive association between days bullied and obesity. Students bullied for 1 – 9 days had a 1.4 times increased likelihood of being obese (95% CI 1.25-1.55) and those bullied for 10 – 30 days had a 2.35 times increased likelihood of being obese (95% CI 1.95-2.84).
Conclusion. Evidence-based interventions implemented early in the bullying cycle for both the victim and instigator are needed to improve mental health and decrease obesity prevalence and risk in Vermont adolescents. Interactions with confounding variables can guide Vermont-specific interventions, which will likely be more efficacious in this target population.
Blum, Lauren; Colon, Marlene; Gilwee, Matthew; Leopold, Madeline; Orr, Eva; and Delaney, Thomas, "Bullying and Adolescent Obesity in Vermont High School Students" (2022). Master of Public Health Culminating Projects. 34.
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