Pre-school children's attitudes to fat and normal male and female stimulus figures

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Dec;24(12):1705-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801462.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Prejudice*
  • Sex Characteristics*