Weight bias towards individuals and groups in young children

  • Barbara Kalebić MaglicaEmail author
  • Igor Kardum
  • Ana Čulić


The aim of this study was to examine the effects of participants’ gender, and target figures’ gender on the preferences for individuals with overweight and average-weight. The study also assessed whether evaluations of the groups are affected by the group composition (the number of children with overweight). The study was conducted on the sample of 102 children (43 girls and 59 boys). The age of the participants ranged from 7 to 11 years. Twenty pairs of female and male child images with average-weight and overweight were drawn for this study. The individual images were combined into five groups of children with average-weight and overweight. The results showed that target with average-weight and male targets were preferred more than target with overweight and female targets and that participants evaluated same-sex targets more positively. The same trend was obtained for group images. The results also showed that the increase in the number of children with overweight in groups was connected with more negative evaluations of these groups.


Children with overweight Weight prejudice Group composition Gender differences 


Funding Information

This research was supported by the University of Rijeka grant as a part of research project “The effects of personality, emotions and social processes in interpersonal context – uniri-drustv-18-231”.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia
  2. 2.Elementary School Split 3SplitCroatia

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