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Don't say this to little girls

Study Finds Calling Girls 'Fat' Leads To Obesity

A new study shows that fat shaming doesn't seem to do any good. It seems the more young girls are called 'fat' by close friends and family, the more likely they are to become obese.

A new study out of UCLA shows that 10-year-old girls who were called "fat" were more likely to be obese by age 19, even if they weren't overweight to begin with.

The study followed more than 2,300 girls from the time they were 10 to age 19.

It found that girls who had been called 'too fat' by a family member were 1.62 times more likely to be obese by 19. Those called 'too fat' by a close non-family member, like a friend or teacher, were 1.4 times more likely.

Science World Report quotes the study's lead author: "Simply being labeled as too fat has a measurable effect almost a decade later. We nearly fell off our chairs when we discovered this."

The UCLA study's authors also point to research that suggests that being labeled "fat" leads to stress, and then, overeating because of the stress. It's a vicious cycle.

They emphasize that eating in moderation and exercise, not dieting, will lead to healthy weights.

They say that genes play a major role in a person's weight, and that can't be discounted. The study looked at African-American and Caucasian girls. More info is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Join the discussion

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sindfetish April 29 2014 at 3:16 PM

Do we actually have to told....to not call a little girl fat? Who are writing these articles? Sorry...it is just bad.

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chrischev1234 April 29 2014 at 7:54 PM

I grew up with my big brother calling me ignorant over and over for years, I didn't grow up ignorant like him. I work at the same job I started 25 yrs ago, own a home and don't live in a jail for a dui wreck with a death. Its not what you hear, its how you take it. I never thought I was ignorant, ever.

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2 replies
Ceil chrischev1234 April 29 2014 at 9:45 PM

Fortunately you took it and decided you could be better. Most people do not do as well as you did. Good that you did well.

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Sawke chrischev1234 April 29 2014 at 10:21 PM

the study is on being called fat, not ignorant, other reinforcing factors are involved to bring down the self esteem of a girl being called fat, media and peer comparison. More importance is put on girls looking good, than girls being intelligent.

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max574 April 29 2014 at 7:52 PM

hmm and is suppose its perfectly acceptable to say that to a little boy.......you shouldnt say tha poison crap to any child...just the same as you dont use the n word or call a kid retard

Flag Reply +5 rate up
sdeannewyork April 29 2014 at 7:38 PM

Of course not! You wouldn't say it to an adult, would you? They why would it be okay to say it to a vulnerable little child. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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fspoon April 29 2014 at 7:20 PM

Shouldn't let siblings tell you that you are "ugly" either.

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1 reply
paperbeach fspoon April 29 2014 at 8:38 PM

or stupid

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mobdev April 29 2014 at 12:13 PM

When does this idiocy end? Genes play a major role???? Yes, they play a major role when everybody is recommended the the same "whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables diet". Some people are genetically incapable of effectively processing carbs, but the 'government science" refuses to admit it. Going on controlled carb diet (when you empirically determine how much carbs you can eat a day without gaining weight) never fails to cure weight problems, yet it is considered "unscientific". Sure, because the whole food industry is driven by grain manufacturers. Somehow government subsidizes wheat and corn production, yet meat and vegetable manufacturers have to take care of themselves. Everytime I read these propaganda articles I wan tot puke.

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1 reply
magicowizardo mobdev April 29 2014 at 12:26 PM

Interesting point. And what exactly is the scientific or political background you possess to prove that "government science" refuses to admit issues with "processing carbs?" And do tell about the socio-economic conspiracy of the almighty grain manufacturers who somehow run the entire food industry? Just curious.

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1 reply
justrose49 magicowizardo April 29 2014 at 12:45 PM

It seems obvious to me that your comment to mobdev's only proves your that your comment is comment which show an ill-informed, under-intelligent person..why don't you check YOUR facts before your criticism of another's intelligent and well informed poster..

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proteus12544 April 30 2014 at 2:50 AM

Of course you should not say that to your child regardless of if they are a boy or girl. there is no reason for children especially young children to become obese. The parents are responsible for what the child eats. If the culture of being afraid to say no to a child. Maybe help the child lose weight by cooking healthier meals and help them exercise everyday.

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socraticknight April 29 2014 at 12:57 PM

"I wish you were a boy instead" is one thing not to say.

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1 reply
trifeloco2012 socraticknight April 29 2014 at 2:00 PM

Also: You were unplanned.

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1 reply
gramargo trifeloco2012 April 29 2014 at 11:00 PM

Well, in my family, we ordered a girl and got one, then ordered a boy and got one. The other three, all girls, were totally unplanned, but never did they think they were not totally loved. It would have been nice to have another boy, of course, but I don't know how I've have ever gotten along without these fine daughters.

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KCAOL April 29 2014 at 12:59 PM

When my 9 year old granddaughter asked me "what is a diet" -- I replied it was the
" food we eat" -- I did not want her to think that "diet" meant eating to lose weight.

Count the ads you see and hear about weight loss, being rail thin does not mean
more healthy!

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2 replies
riognach KCAOL April 29 2014 at 1:36 PM

You are one SMART Grandma. Perfect answer. Way to go, Granny!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
trifeloco2012 KCAOL April 29 2014 at 2:00 PM

Talk about a cool Grandma!


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ofos1 April 29 2014 at 1:26 PM

Whole lot missing...as is, it says that girls who were easily recognized as overweight as pre-adolescents ended up being overweight by age 19.

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