Human Exceptionalism

And Yet Another Eposide of: STUDYING THE OBVIOUS

I have decided to document professional studies that reach conclusions that are so obvious one wonders why precious grant money was spent on doing the research: In an earlier episode, we found that rich and powerful men like to marry young and beautiful women. And now, we learn that teenage girls with self esteem problems may gain weight! From the story:

Where a teenage girl sees herself on her school’s social ladder may sway her future weight, a study of more than 4,000 girls finds. Those who believed they were unpopular gained more weight over a two-year period than girls who viewed themselves as more popular. Researchers said the study showed how a girl’s view of her social status has broader health consequences.

The answer, as with everything these days, is giving girls more self esteem:

“The reason this paper is so important is it has broader implications beyond weight gain,” said McNeely, who was not involved in the research but wrote an accompanying editorial. “Subjective social status is not just an uncomfortable experience you grow out of, but can have important health consequences.” Experts know little about how to intervene in teenagers’ peer groups to improve health, McNeely said, but when adults set standards in schools, students treat one another with more respect.

I know from personal experience how hard it can be to be in the “out group” when a teenager. But it can also be the springboard that motivates you into greater success. While we do need to prevent bullying, the idea that we can somehow stop the clique mentality of teenagers is ridiculous.

Your tax dollars at work: Tune in next time as we bring you further episodes of, Studying the Obvious.

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