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Children from 5 years old see thinner people as happier and more attractive than people who are overweight

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Children as young as five perceive thinner people as happier and more attractive than overweight people, a study has revealed.

Researchers from the University of Gdańsk showed preschool boys and girls pictures of men and women with different body types, and asked them to rate who was the most attractive and happiest.

The results showed that for both male and female bodies, the children rated the obese bodies as the least attractive and the least happy.

“Preschoolers can identify physically attractive individuals, and they can already form attributions regarding the appearance of adults (especially women), which in turn may provide a basis for their future concept of beauty-related happiness,” the researchers wrote in their study.

Researchers from the University of Gdańsk showed preschool boys and girls pictures of men and women with different body types, and asked them to rate who was the most attractive and happiest

The results showed that for both male and female bodies, the children rated the obese bodies as the least attractive and the least happy

The results showed that for both male and female bodies, the children rated the obese bodies as the least attractive and the least happy

Playing with thin dolls can make girls as young as FIVE want a slimmer body

Thin dolls like Barbie could make kids as young as five want a slimmer body, a study warns.

British scientists asked girls between the ages of five and nine to play with two ultra-thin dolls, including Barbie, and two dolls with a more realistic body weight.

The two ultra-thin dolls, both made by American toy giant Mattel, immediately reduced the girls’ ideal body size, the researchers found.

Meanwhile, the two realistic dolls – Dora and Lottie – seemed to have no effect on physical dissatisfaction.

Thin dolls, combined with exposure to “thin ideals” in movies, on TV and social media, can lead to body dissatisfaction in young girls, which has been found to be a factor in the development of eating disorders.

Researchers used two types of dolls in the study: ultra-thin (left) and realistic (right).  Ultra-thin dolls reduced the girls' ideal body size right after they played with them, the experts found

Researchers used two types of dolls in the study: ultra-thin (left) and realistic (right). Ultra-thin dolls reduced the girls’ ideal body size right after they played with them, the experts found

In the study, the team sought to understand the relationship between obesity and happiness associations made by five-year-old children.

“Currently, the media is setting the standards for perfect bodies: slim for women, muscular for men,” the researchers said in their study, published in BMC Pediatrics.

These norms are then internalized by both sexes as early as childhood as aspirations that determine commonly understood happiness.

‘Children of average or muscular build are seen as happy, nice, strong, neat and popular.

‘Overweight children, at least in the western world, are judged to be clumsy, lazy, stupid and more prone to cheating.

‘In our study, we shed light on the relationship between associations of obesity and happiness made by preschool girls and boys (5-year-olds).’

The team recruited 329 five-year-old girls and 351 five-year-old boys, who were shown a graph showing three types of adult male and female silhouettes: slim, normal and overweight.

The children were given six questions and had to point to the silhouette for their answer.

The questions were ‘Which woman is the prettiest/which man is the prettiest?’, ‘Which woman/man has the most friends?’, ‘Which woman/man is the happiest?’ and ‘which woman/man is the smartest?’

The results showed that for both female and male silhouettes, both girls and boys found the obese bodies the least attractive, while slim bodies and normal bodies were rated as equally attractive.

Meanwhile, girls rated slim and normal individuals as equally happy, while boys rated the slimmest women as happiest.

“The results clearly suggest that children associate appearance with happiness, indicating that the body type rated as most physically attractive matched the consistent selection of the same body type in happiness questions,” the researchers wrote.

However, the children did not associate appearance with happiness for the “smart” category, especially for female bodies.

“It can therefore be concluded that the stereotype ‘if she is beautiful, then she is less smart’ is already present in children by the age of five,” the researchers added.

The team believes the findings could have important practical implications for children and their families.

“They can translate into changes in families’ eating habits, the development of children’s eating habits, etc., and so can affect their self-esteem, their own bodies and the perception of their body’s attractiveness,” they said.

They also suggest that preschools should consider implementing gender awareness programs for young children.

The team recruited 329 five-year-old girls and 351 five-year-old boys, who were shown a graph showing three types of adult male and female silhouettes: slim, normal, and overweight.

The team recruited 329 five-year-old girls and 351 five-year-old boys, who were shown a graph showing three types of adult male and female silhouettes: slim, normal, and overweight.

The results showed that for both female and male silhouettes, both girls and boys found obese bodies to be the least attractive, while slim bodies and normal bodies were rated equally attractive (stock image)

The results showed that for both female and male silhouettes, both girls and boys found obese bodies to be the least attractive, while slim bodies and normal bodies were rated equally attractive (stock image)

“Differences in men’s and women’s perceptions of the relationship between happiness and appearance indicate the need to implement or continue gender awareness programs in preschoolers,” they concluded.

The study comes shortly after researchers revealed that thin dolls can make kids as young as five want a slimmer body.

British scientists asked girls between the ages of five and nine to play with two ultra-thin dolls, including Barbie, and two dolls with a more realistic body weight.

The two ultra-thin dolls, both made by American toy giant Mattel, immediately reduced the girls’ ideal body size, the researchers found.

Meanwhile, the two realistic dolls – Dora and Lottie – seemed to have no effect on physical dissatisfaction.

Thin dolls, combined with exposure to “thin ideals” in movies, on TV and social media, can lead to body dissatisfaction in young girls, which has been found to be a factor in the development of eating disorders.

Kim Kardashian’s hourglass figure is more damaging to women’s body image than Kate Moss’ thin frame, study claims

Kim Kardashian (pictured) exemplifies a woman with the 'slim-fat' or 'hourglass' body ideal - which researchers say is 'characterized by a big butt and thighs and a small waist and a flat stomach'

Kim Kardashian (pictured) exemplifies a woman with the ‘slim-fat’ or ‘hourglass’ body ideal – which researchers say is ‘characterized by a big butt and thighs and a small waist and a flat stomach’

Kim Kardashian’s hourglass figure is more damaging to women’s body image than Kate Moss’ thin frame, a new study claims.

Researchers in Canada showed Instagram photos of women of ‘slim-fat’, ‘thin’ or ‘fit-ideal’ body types.

Slim fat or “hourglass,” as seen in Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Beyoncé, is characterized by “a big butt and thighs and a small waist and a flat stomach.”

Meanwhile, ‘thin’ describes slim shapes with flat bellies and small waists, like Kate Moss, and ‘fit’ describes more toned and athletic female physique.

The researchers found that women exposed to “slim-fat” photos experienced greater dissatisfaction with their own weight and appearance.

It is believed that women with a ‘slim-fat’ body have become much more common in Western culture in recent years, thanks in part to social media.

But the pressure young women feel to achieve such a physique can be even more damaging than society’s pressure to be ultra-thin.

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