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Abstract

Childhood obesity is associated with a variety of medical and psychosocial consequences. Children who are obese are at an increased risk of being victims of weight-based stigmatization by their peers. Negative views toward obese individuals may be expressed through children's friendship selections and expressed levels of overt (e.g., pushing, hitting) and relational (e.g., spreading rumors, weight-based teasing) forms of aggression. This report provides a review of the existing research on peer victimization and its impact on children's psychological, social, and behavioral functioning. Interventions for weight-based stigmatization and victimization are reviewed, and recommendations to improve the effectiveness of such interventions are provided. Future directions for the research literature are suggested to address limitations in the extant literature and highlight potential areas of inquiry that can provide information for the development of effective interventions for the victimization of obese youth. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.