Being called "fat' may raise obesity risk for girls
Young girls who are called "fat" are more likely to be obese by the time they're in their late teens, concludes a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Researchers say being labeled “too fat” at a young age may lead to behaviors that encourage obesity. For the study, investigators from the University of California Los Angeles assessed 1,213 black girls and 1,166 white girls who lived in Northern California, Cincinnati and Washington, DC. Among them, about 58 percent had been told they were fat when they were 10 years old.
The girls were followed for nine years, and their height and weight was recorded before and after the study. They found that girls who had been called “fat” at age 10 by parents, friends, classmates or teachers were 1.66 times more likely to be obese by the age of 19, compared to girls who were not told they were overweight. They also found that the greater number of people who called a girl fat, the more likely she was to become obese a decade later.