Size deters girls from university

August 3, 2007

Obese girls are only half as likely to go to university as their thinner peers, a new study has found. The research from the University of Texas at Austin found that obese girls were even less likely to enter higher education if they went to a school where being overweight was uncommon. The study of 11,000 adolescents found no difference in college enrolment rates between obese and non-obese boys. "That girls are far more vulnerable to the non health risks of obesity reinforces the notion that body image is more important to girls' self-concept and that social norms have greater effects on the education of girls than boys," said the report's author, Robert Crosnoe, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas. The paper also suggests that mental health and behavioural issues play a role in deterring girls from college.

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