Overweight Kids and Discrimination
In this article, you will find:
- Weight bias is widespread
- Both teachers and peers discriminate
- There's a lot parents can do to help
Both teachers and peers discriminateWeight Bias in School
According to the National Education Association, the school experience for fat students is "one of ongoing prejudice, unnoticed discrimination, and almost constant harassment.... From nursery school through college, fat students experience ostracism, discouragement, and sometimes violence."
Unfortunately, teachers are just as likely to discriminate against overweight students as anyone else. A number of studies confirm teacher bias, with these findings:
- Teachers have lower expectations for overweight students (compared to thinner students) across a range of ability areas.
- Teachers say overweight students are untidy, more emotional, less likely to succeed at work, and more likely to have family problems.
- In one study, 43 percent of teachers agreed that "most people feel uncomfortable when they associate with obese people."
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This writer is a part of the FamilyEducation editorial team. Our team is comprised of parents, experts, and content professionals dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and relevant information in the parenting space.