“Preschool Girls Are … Doing Things to Stay Thin”

Or are they? From this article on how babies are supposedly making a splash on the weight-loss scene:

Girls as young as 3 are already emotionally invested in being thin, to the point where some even will avoid touching game pieces that depict a fat individual, a small study on preschoolers suggests.

The finding is troubling

I guess? But it makes sense, given the middle ground between “oh my god the babies are anorexic!” and “oh my god the babies are obese!” has basically disappeared. Oh, and in case you’re wondering what games have fat people in them, the researchers actually made their own, which was probably the funnest part of this dark, odd little study:

Finally, the [girls] played either Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land, two popular board games for this age group. Players got to choose from three different game pieces that had been specially designed for this task by varying only in body type: one was thin, one was average, and one was fat.

To measure kids’ emotional investment in a body-size type, after each child chose a game piece, the researcher said, “Wait, I wanted to be that one! How about you be this one?” (If the child had selected a game piece with a thin or average body, the researcher asked to switch it with the fat one; if the child had chosen a fat game piece, the researcher asked to switch it with an average body.) …

“Interestingly, several participants were reluctant to even touch the fat game piece.” … Other participants made comments such as, “I hate her, she has a fat stomach,” or “She is fat. I don’t want to be that one.”

So, three-year-olds: not unaware of the world around them. Also: probably not fans of weirdo adults who can’t play games properly.