Well here’s some depressing news for you–in a study conducted on 361 children by the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, researchers found that children as young as the age of three have body image issues. And by the time the children were four years old, they knew how to go on a diet.
Honestly, the thought of worrying about your weight in pre-school is so obnoxious to me, I had to read the whole study to fully comprehend what is causing these young kids with impressionable minds to think of anything other than rainbows, cartoons and candy.
Dr. Jacqueline Harding, an adviser of the group told Telegraph UK, “By the age of three or four some children have already pretty much begun to make up their minds (and even hold strong views) about how bodies should look. There is also research evidence to suggest that some 4-year-olds are aware of strategies as to how to lose weight.”
Obviously more studies need to be conducted on how these children formed these ideas about themselves, whether it be from their peers, family members or culture influencing them in a negative way. But studies like this prove that the body image conversation is never over, and has to start at a young age.