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Calling Girls “Too Fat” May Increase Their Risk of Obesity

Calling a girl, “too fat” may actually increase her chances of being obese later in life, the Los Angeles Times reports. The finding is based on a study in JAMA Pediatrics that asked 10 year old girls to report if they were labeled “too fat” by their “father, mother, brother, sister, best girlfriend, boy you like best, any other girl, any other boy, or a teacher.” Researchers then followed the girls until age 19. They found that girls who were called “fat” by a family member were 1.62 times more likely to be obese at age 19, while those who were called “fat” by someone else were 1.4 times more likely to be obese. Experts say to try to avoid the word “fat” when addressing health concerns in children and instead to focus on promoting exercise and healthy eating.

Read it in the Los Angeles Times.

Read the study in JAMA Pediatrics.