If you’re wondering how real the link is between Barbie and the rise of body issues among young girls, consider this: A Dutch study of 6-to-10-year-old girls attempted to establish a correlation between the types of dolls they played with and their body image perceptions. Some of the girls played with skinny dolls and some played with average-sized dolls. The researchers didn’t find any difference between the two groups when testing their body image perceptions; the difference they did find related to food intake: the girls with the thin dolls eat significantly less than their peers with the average-sized dolls. So, if you want to encourage healthy eating habits in your daughter, pay attention to the dolls she plays with.
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