Physical activity is touted as being the number one cure for obesity in children, but when a group of impoverished children from Quebec were studied the results revealed that children living in poverty are at a greater risk of becoming obese, even though they have a higher level of physical activity.

Study Statistics

To do this study data was collected on one thousand children, their families, and their schools. All of the participants in the study were in secondary schools throughout Quebec.


The researchers found that children who lived in poverty stricken homes were more likely to be overweight, or obese, than children who had more financially stable living environments.

School Environment

Children who feel insecure about school also had a higher risk of becoming obese. The children who were from poverty stricken homes most often felt insecure or unsafe at school, and this factor increased their chances of becoming obese.

Some of the things that make a child feel unsafe or insecure about school is their financial status. If their family has a difficult time paying their bills, then they are likely to not have the money to buy the children proper clothing or school supplies. The lack of these items make it painstakingly clear to all of the other students that the child is from a poverty stricken home and that increases the chance that some other students will single them out as targets for ridicule.

Another contributing factor to a child feeling ill at ease about attending school was that the poverty stricken children often attend schools that have less tax dollars funding them, and they have more violence, drugs, and interruptions, in their classrooms.

What does this all mean?

This information should be telling us all that we need to be working harder to see to it that children who live in poverty get a better chance at education. We should all take this information and see that bullying affects children today, tomorrow, and forever.

What Schools can do

The schools can be more astute at watching for signs of bullying. The educators are with these children for longer periods in a day than the parents are. Teachers can see which students are bullying other students and they can see the signs of a student who is being bullied. It will take communication between teachers and the disciplinary staff, and the guidance counselors, to start making a difference in the class rooms.

Children who bully other children must be removed from the general population of the school until they can learn that being a bully is wrong. Children who are being bullied must be taught that they have a voice and that the school building is a safe place to use that voice.

What Communities can do

If you are worried about the obesity problem in the United States, then you can become active in helping schools to have more nutritional foods that have less calories available for their students.

Communities can also help fund fresh produce stands so people who live on small budgets will be able to make better food choices.

With the support of the community, and the encouragement of the city officials, then children who are living in poverty could make the changes to stop obesity from being one of their future concerns.