Study: Diet Culture is Screwing Up Five Year Old Girls

“We can make this stop. I think the solution is to talk about the health of all children, instead of the size of some children. I think it’s helping kids develop a strong relationship and sense of trust with their bodies, it’s helping them understand their bodies’ needs instead of being terrified of being or becoming “fat.” I think it’s helping them try out lots of types of movement and giving them a chance to find something they enjoy instead of insisting that if they don’t like getting dodge balls hurled at them, or playing organized sports, or being judged on their ability to do a random group of exercises once a year (for which they get no training the rest of the year) then they deserve to be ridiculed. There are lots of things that we could do if we really cared about kids’ health, and talking about their weight isn’t even close.”

Another great post from Dances With Fat.

Dances With Fat

grade on curveIf you were looking for proof that our culture is unbelievably messed up around dieting, health, and weight, you need look no further than the fact that a study has come out called “Dietary restraint of 5-year-old girls: Associations with internalization of the thin ideal and maternal, media, and peer influences.”

Yes, we have reached a point where we are studying dieting behaviors and thin obsession in kindergarten girls.  So what did the study find?


Thirty-four percent of girls reported at least a moderate level of dietary restraint. While most girls were satisfied with their body size, half showed some internalization of the thin ideal. Girls’ dietary restraint was correlated with weight bias favoring thinner bodies, and greater internalization of the thin ideal, media exposure, and appearance conversations with peers. Media exposure and appearance conversations were the strongest predictors of dietary restraint.

That is straight up horrifying…

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2 thoughts on “Study: Diet Culture is Screwing Up Five Year Old Girls

  1. Pingback: My Kid Might Be Fat Too (And That Needs to Be Okay) | Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

  2. Pingback: Why Does It Even Matter What Oprah Says About Me? | Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

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