Teen girls’ popularity predicts weight change, study shows

Elizabeth Cooney:

Adolescent girls who placed themselves low on the ladder of popularity were more likely to gain weight later in their teen years than girls who saw themselves as having higher social standing, Boston-area researchers say.
Depression and low self-esteem have been identified as contributing to the burden of obesity in adolescents, but Adina R. Lemeshow of the Harvard School of Public Health and her colleagues wanted to know whether girls’ perception of their social standing predicted changes in their weight.
The study, which appears in the current Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, is the first to ask questions about social status before weight change, the authors say, making a stronger case for linking the two than previous work by others that looked at only one point in time.