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. 2008 Nov;16 Suppl 2:S11-7.
doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.446.

Predictors of Body Size Stigmatization in Hispanic Preschool Children

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Predictors of Body Size Stigmatization in Hispanic Preschool Children

Shannon S Rich et al. Obesity (Silver Spring). .
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Abstract

Objective: The purpose of the current study was to verify the occurrence of body size stigmatization in Hispanic preschoolers who are "at risk" for obesity and to examine potential predictors of body size stigmatization.

Methods and procedures: At a local preschool, 70 lower-socioeconomic, Hispanic caregivers and their preschoolers participated. Preschoolers completed an attribution task including positive and negative adjectives to assess body size stigmatization. Child's perceived size and caregiver's body dissatisfaction were assessed using a line drawing ranging in size from very underweight figures to very overweight figures. Adult and child body indices were then assessed.

Results: Body size stigmatization in child participants was observed. Stepwise multiple regressions revealed that child BMI was the only significant predictor of the number of positive adjectives the child assigned to the overweight picture. As child BMI increased, the number of positive adjectives assigned to the overweight picture decreased. Two predictors, caregiver body dissatisfaction with self and caregiver BMI, significantly predicted the number of negative traits the child assigned to the overweight figure. Caregivers with higher BMIs and increased body dissatisfaction were most likely to have children who showed negative body size stigmatization.

Discussion: Increasing rates of obesity have not led to greater acceptance of the obese and even children who are at greater risk for obesity show body size stigmatization at early ages. Caregivers are influential in the development of body size stigmatization in children and must be considered in the development of programs aimed at reducing stigmatization and obesity.

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