Overweight youngsters may face discrimination at school and in relationships, but a U.S. study has found they can also receive harsher treatment at home — from their own parents.
Studies have shown parents are less likely to help overweight or obese offspring pay for college but researchers from the University of North Texas in Denton have also found parents may be less willing to help their overweight child buy a car.
“No one is going to be surprised that society discriminates against the overweight, but I think it is surprising that it can come from your parents,” researcher Adriel Boals told Reuters Health.
“Similar to college tuition, purchasing a car during the college years is a major expense and investment that parents can choose to provide assistance with or not.” Boals and fellow researcher Amanda Kraha’s study, published in the journal Obesity, noted that more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese and heavier people are known to face discrimination on the job, at school, and in relationships. They tend to earn less and are less likely to marry.
There is evidence that negative psychological consequences associated with overweight and obesity, such as depression and low self- esteem, could be a consequence of this type of prejudice.