Objective: To investigate gender differences in attitudes to obesity in pre-school children.
Design: Evaluation of gender differences in judgements of stimulus figures varying in body shape and gender.
Subjects: Twenty-five children aged 2-5 y, 12 boys and 13 girls.
Measures: Forced-choice ascriptions of personal, social and behavioural traits to normal and obese male and female dolls.
Results: Children ascribed more negative characteristics than positive ones to fat figures than to normal figures, and more to fat female than to fat male figures.
Conclusion: Children can demonstrate prejudiced behaviour towards obesity at earlier ages than previously thought.