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The stigmatization of obesity among Gypsy and Hungarian children

  • Ildikó PappEmail author
  • Ferenc Túry
Original Article

Abstract

Prejudice against obese people has been widely confirmed in scientific papers. Therefore, recent studies have increasingly focused on investigating the individual and cultural factors related to attitudes towards obesity. Since there have been no comparative studies involving Gypsy people, our present research aimed at exploring the possible discrepancies in children’s attitudes towards obese children between Gypsy and Hungarian cultures. Our survey included 247 children aged 9–16 (108 boys and 139 girls), of which 136 considered themselves Hungarian (55.1 %), while 111 children (44.9 %) claimed themselves as Gypsy. The subjects were asked to rank six male and six female figure drawings according to their preference. Each sequence of figure drawings included a healthy child, an obese child, and four drawings depicted children with disabilities. According to our results, the drawings portraying the healthy child figure were rated most preferable and those portraying the obese child figure the least preferable amongst the subjects regardless of gender and origin. However, the obese girl figures and boy figures were rated significantly more positively by Gypsy children than Hungarian children. Our results suggest that there is a difference in attitude towards obesity among Gypsy and Hungarian children. Therefore, it is worthwhile to further explore this phenomenon.

Keywords

Obesity Prejudice against the obese Cultural differences Gender Gypsy 

Notes

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Behavioural SciencesSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary

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