In Brief: Jan. 31, 2000

WEIGHT WOES A study in the journal Pediatrics reveals that being overweight begins to take an emotional toll on adolescents at about the time that peer pressure starts to overtake family influence. At ages 9 and 10, obese and nonobese kids show no difference in self-esteem. But by 13 and 14, overweight youths tend to exhibit lower self-worth, especially white and Hispanic girls. Such youngsters are more likely to drink and smoke too. Experts urge parents to instill good eating habits in kids early and to stress that people don't normally look like models.

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