Are Parents Less Loving Towards Fat Children?

obese-kidIn a nation suffering from a childhood obesity epidemic, this is bad news for the youth of the future: whether or not they intend to be, parents are meaner to their overweight children. TIME writes:

It’s no secret that overweight kids are typically not the most popular kids on the block. Nor is it news that kids can be mean, forming groups of “haves” and “have-nots,” gossiping, ostracizing their chunky classmates.

You’d think that home would be a safe haven for them, but a new study in the journal Obesity reveals that even parents can come down hard on their heftier offspring.

Researchers at the University of North Texas in Denton have found that parents may be less likely to chip in and help their overweight kid buy a car. “No one is going to be surprised that society discriminates against the overweight, but I think it is surprising that it can come from your parents,” researcher Adriel Boals told Reuters.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifying 20% of children and 18% of teens as obese, that’s a lot of kids who could potentially get short-changed. In the current study, the researchers looked at 379 college students and discovered that those who paid for their cars themselves had a higher average body mass index in relation to students whose parents helped with the purchase. When they trained their sights on the 82 students who paid for their cars without assistance, they found that 39% qualified as overweight or obese versus 18% in the group that got a financial leg up. Neither gender nor family income played into why parents were more willing to help out their svelter offspring.

Regardless, parents might want to think twice before they’re mean to their chubby children. What comes around often goes around, and the latest stats show one-third of Americans are overweight and another third are obese.

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    ‘Come on and give the parents a break! They’d have to be freakin’ Mother Theresa to give over the same amount of love per pound as any other kid!

  • Liam_McGonagle

    ‘Come on and give the parents a break! They’d have to be freakin’ Mother Theresa to give over the same amount of love per pound as any other kid!

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Mothers of fat kids are really just fattening them up to bake them in a nice pie……
    Kids ARE good for something. LOL!

  • Anonymous

    Mothers of fat kids are really just fattening them up to bake them in a nice pie……
    Kids ARE good for something. LOL!

  • Hypnos1

    Riiiight… and ice cream sales lead to murder. Why is causality so hard to understand? Just like ice cream sales and murder spikes seem to go hand in hand, the cause is heat waves. It could be that whatever makes these kits fat also makes their parents less likely to buy them a car. Maybe poverty is involved here?

  • Hypnos1

    Riiiight… and ice cream sales lead to murder. Why is causality so hard to understand? Just like ice cream sales and murder spikes seem to go hand in hand, the cause is heat waves. It could be that whatever makes these kits fat also makes their parents less likely to buy them a car. Maybe poverty is involved here?

  • Marklar_Prime

    So that’s why the only bath toy my parents would let me have was an electric toaster.

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    So that’s why the only bath toy my parents would let me have was an electric toaster.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well…thats an aspect of the obesity crisis I hadn’t really imagined. Whole generation getting less “free ride love” from their families because people respond with less generosity to a person who is clearly not suffering deprivation…interesting…but my sympathy is limited here. I have my total bitch moments…lacking sympathy for people who aren’t actually suffering from anything but a chosen excess of food and immobility is one of those moments. Twenty years ago, you generally saw just a few kids in your class who were truly obese…some stocky, some pudgy…but very few morbid cases. Now stockiness and pudginess is drifting into the norm…with morbid obesity as a common exception instead of a rare one. Ugh. I don’t see a great future for a country whose children need shoes with no laces because they cant bend over.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well…thats an aspect of the obesity crisis I hadn’t really imagined. Whole generation getting less “free ride love” from their families because people respond with less generosity to a person who is clearly not suffering deprivation…interesting…but my sympathy is limited here. I have my total bitch moments…lacking sympathy for people who aren’t actually suffering from anything but a chosen excess of food and immobility is one of those moments. Twenty years ago, you generally saw just a few kids in your class who were truly obese…some stocky, some pudgy…but very few morbid cases. Now stockiness and pudginess is drifting into the norm…with morbid obesity as a common exception instead of a rare one. Ugh. I don’t see a great future for a country whose children need shoes with no laces because they cant bend over.