Objective: To examine the effect of information on children's attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a peer presented as obese.
Methods: Children (N = 184) were randomly assigned to observe a video of a boy or girl in one of three conditions: average-weight, obese, obese with medical information explaining the obesity. They rated stereotypical attitudes on the Adjective Checklist and behavioral intentions on the Shared Activities Questionnaire (SAQ-B).
Results: Ratings were generally more favorable for the average-weight than for the obese condition. However, provision of medical information had a positive effect on attitudes toward the obese peer only for younger children and a negative effect on willingness of older children to share academic activities with the peer. Boys and girls showed more positive behavioral intentions toward the same-sex target child regardless of obesity condition.
Conclusions: Information explaining obesity has a minimal positive effect on children's attitudes and behavioral intentions toward a peer presented as obese.