Can you give me an example of what you mean? Because that sounded very deliberate to me.
I do not believe a child would have a bias toward overweight people if they did not first learn that behavior. I believe the fact that other cultures not having the same outcomes proves that.
You have not proved that fact.
I think this points more to my suggestion of embracing what is familiar and common place.
Others point to celebrating obesity over more severe health problems (related to starvation or the unavailability of heathy foods) obesity has to look healthier than famine or starvation....which is the other instinct mentioned earlier (attraction to health)
What I want to know is, when do kids actually realise what 'fat' means? My DD at the age of 3 was made aware by myself that saying 'fat' was not acceptable. I can't remember why, but can only pressume she said it to someone for me to make it an issue with her. She soon learnt that it was acceptable to say it in a different context however, so she would come to me with a smarty pants look on her face and say "cut the fat off the chickennnnn...."
Now, I don't know if she knew at that point what 'fat' actually meant if said to someone who was over weight.
I have realised that now she is in school, she despises the one child in her class who is over weight. I honestly don't think the weight has anything to do with it though. I believe it is because my DD is petite and this child over shadows her.
It can definietly be learned behavior also which I have seen with DD and my nephew who is 7. The other day he said something was 'dumb' and she asked me later on, what it meant. I explained that it meant 'silly' (does it?) and she responded with "you're dumb".
So yes, it can be a case of innocence observing peoples differences OR learnt behaiour from peers/relatives.
I think we are muddling science and sociology if we are using cultural practice to attempt to nullify any ability of a baby to be attracted to certain types of features. Thats just silly. Both things are at play in our lives, our biological predispositions and instincts AND social influences.
The article doesn't even specify that its simply about beauty. That is an assumption being made in this thread. It says in the article that it shows children are aware of our "societal interest in body size"
I think societal interest in body size is reinforced everywhere. Its this idea that its the parents fault that these little kids said they wouldn't befriend the overweight child that i disagree with. Especially at such high rates? Almost all of them said they wouldn't. Thats not these children's specific parents being nasty to overweight people...thats the fact that its ingrained in our culture. What they are inundated with are pictures of skinny or thin people...and we praise high levels of activity, and we don't make overweight characters the heroes of childrens movies...and the magazine ad mom has a size 6 waist....and so on and so forth.
Its pinning this on the parents that I really have a beef with.
ETA: I should say i have a beef with pinning this on the parents because we are assuming they treat overweight people poorly. I do think we could all be more proactive in teaching our children to be more accepting of all people. But those two things are two very different things.