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Childhood Obesity Stigma
Study into Attitude of Children to Obesity and Overweight
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Children & the Stigma of Obesity - Study

Obesity Study - Aim
The prevalence of childhood obesity more than doubled in the period from 1961 to 2001. We replicated a 1961 study of stigma in childhood obesity to see what effect this increased prevalence has had on this stigma.

Obesity Study - Research Methods
Participants included 458 5th and 6th-grade children attending upper-middle and lower-middle income U.S. public schools. Children ranked six drawings of same-sex children with obesity, various disabilities, or no disability ("healthy"), in order of how well they liked each child.

Obesity Study - Results
Children in both the present and the 1961 study liked the drawing of the obese child least. The obese child was liked significantly less in the present study than in 1961. Girls liked the obese child less than boys did. Children ranked the healthy child highest and significantly higher than in 1961. The difference in liking between the healthy and obese child was currently 40.8 percent greater than in 1961.

Obesity Study - Issues
Stigmatization of obesity by children appears to have increased over the last 40 years.

Source: Rutgers University - Pennsylvania. 2001

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Theories about how to lose weight, how to reduce obesity and general weight management are constantly changing along with ideas about which weight loss diet program is best and so forth. At present, however, a balanced diet combined with regular exercise remains the favorite weight loss strategy of most dietitians and weight loss experts.

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