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Obese girls less likely to go to college

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Old 11-07-2007, 11:54 PM   #16
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In college we learned that the single best predictor of whether a person goes to college is whether their parents (followed by their teachers) expect them to go to college.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
You know you could always go back and I hope you are (I'm not sure if you are in school or not).

I do remember the horrible desks. Some were worst than others. Lots of tight quarters.

I also remember the first school I went to was built on a hill so I had to walk lots and lots of stairs. Actually, I enjoyed that but sometimes it was a pain being 300 lbs. I do wish I was a lot smaller in college but oh well, that is life.
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We had horrible parking situations on my campus, and if we could even find a spot actually ON campus, we'd stll have to walk quite a bit (hills too). And then I always took the stairs to get to class because our elevators were tiny and it was more embarrassing [to me] to ride in an elevator with a bunch of football players than come to class gasping for breath. I remember taking breaks on the stairs because I just couldn't make it in one go. And then I'd be red-faced and sweaty for the entirity of the class. It was painful.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:11 AM   #18
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kaplods, that's interesting. And it applies to anyone of any size.

Both of my parents have degrees, but neither pushed college on me. I left high school after 10th grade, did online corrospondence, and got my high school diploma at 16, and I was SO happy to be done with it before everyone else.

None of my teachers thought I was "college material" - they thought I was absolutely brilliant (or so I heard several times) but too busy gazing out the window daydreaming of a better life to appropriately apply myself. Strangely enough, despite never paying attention, copying homework from geeks when I got the chance, and making sure I did the class projects with the "smart people" so that I wouldn't have to do any work, I was still an honor roll student.

I was far from obese back then (infact, I was always thin because of eating disorders) but still never went to college I'm VERY ADD when it comes to structured learning. However, a few years ago, I ended up getting paid by several people to write their college term papers. They repeatedly returned to me because I got them A's. Now, I help my girlfriend with a lot of her MBA assignments.

An additional note: Some of the most intelligent college students I currently know happen to be obese girls - however, I think some obese girls have already been tormented so much in high school that they just don't want to deal with it all over again. One of my fat friends said that being fat on campus really, really sucks because no one pays attention to you. Despite that remark, she graduated last year, is now a high school history teacher, and loved the experience nonetheless.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:46 PM   #19
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I don't know, it depends on the girl. I had very good grades in high school and every intention of going to a traditional 4 year college. I went to college straight from high school at 18. I only stayed for 3 semesters. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up and I was wasting my time and money. I got a little older and realized that my passion has always been science and medicine. I got my EMT and CNA and worked in a nursing home for 2 1/2 years before getting a job as a patient care tech on the cardiac unit of a large hospital. Now at 31 years old I am done with my general ed and pre reqs and waiting to hear if I am accepted to the respiratory therapy program that starts in January.
I don't contribute my being overweight to not finishing school the first time around. I just needed to know myself better and live life for a while to decide what career would make me happy. I am a more confident student now than I was at 18 but I think it's because I'm older and I don't care what anyone else thinks!

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Old 11-26-2007, 12:27 AM   #20
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I believe that one of the key reasons why women do not have power equivalent to men's power is that we are ashamed to speak if we are "not attractive enough." The only women's voices we hear when the speakers are seen are the voices of gorgeous women, usually slim women.

So I believe this study.
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Old 11-26-2007, 01:52 AM   #21
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Interesting thread. I'm a college professor, so not only did I stay in college (where I became obese for the first time), but went on to grad school (where I became morbidly obese) and finally became a morbidly obese professor before I lost weight.

But, my anecdotal story is not evidence here.

I think if the researchers did their job right in terms of the samples they used then the findings of the study are not in question. We don't have have to beleive, or not believe them. If they did their job right, these findings are fact.

As has been pointed out, any individual example (like mine) does not invalidate the findings. The study is talking about trends and percentages.

But as people have been discussing, that doesn't mean we know WHY it happens. The interesting part is thinking about what these results mean in terms of interpretation. The evidence is correlational. And as others have pointed out, that doesn't mean obesity is the cause of fewer girls going to college. Other variables (like socio-economic factors) may be the actual cause.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:35 PM   #22
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I'm an obese in college at the moment, and honestly, I love being here as opposed to hating high school. High school I skipped a lot and faked sick because I hated being ridiculed for not only my weight but also because I was a liberal in a conservative world. Here, I've made real friends, and the only time I've missed any of my classes (all except one which I love) was when I woke up late or was really sick. I wake myself up now at 7 every morning for my 8 am classes (not smart).

I don't know if I'm the exception to the rule or whatever, but I brough my GPA up from a 2.4 to a 3.5 my last year of high school just so I could get out. I haven't had anyone make fun of my weight or make me feel bad because of it or my ideas (then again, taking theatre classes tends to put you with a lot of crazy, liberal people). I think that its true that obese girls in high school think that college will be the same, but here everyone's so busy with the heavy course load that they don't have time to ridicule anyone. My theory anyway, as unsound as it is. ^_-
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Old 11-27-2007, 06:53 AM   #23
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I'm also a fat chick who went to college, but that doesn't invalidate the study. The fact that I went to college says nothing about the experience of all fat girls.

I worked with a kid who said he knew that smoking doesn't cause cancer, because his grandfather smoked since he was 9 years old and lived to the age of 98.

Also, even if they had not controlled for socioeconomic status, why would there be no effect for boys? Boys are just as likely as girls to be poor.

I do distinctly remember teachers underestimating me, and I think my weight had a lot to do with it. I've been reading since before kindergarten. I remember in first grade being disgusted that I could only check out the "baby books." The librarian kept steering me away from the books I wanted to read. One day when she was too busy to notice, I was able to browse through the books in the fourth grade section. I took them to the desk to check out, and she said the books were too hard for me to read. I told her I could read them, and opened one up and started reading it to prove it. She was astonished but after that let me check out anything in the children's section I wanted. By 8, I was allowed to check out anything in the adult section as well.

By second grade I realized that the only reason I was never put into the advanced reading group was that only the pretty and rich kids were allowed in. I didn't share this realization with my mother until I was nearly through with fourth grade. I have to say she fought like a tiger for me, and surprise, surprise, I was in the advanced reading group in fifth grade.

I do know I broke the mold for fat girls. Bullies never knew what to make of me because I didn't cry when they called me fat. I was likely to laugh and make fun of them, or threaten to sit on them if they were mean to me or my friends.

I read posts here by women who are half my size who won't go out of their houses unless they have to (and sometimes not even then), won't wear a bathing suit, won't join a dance class, won't get a job, won't go on a date, won't stand up to a rude sales clerk, won't leave an abusive spouse, and why well because they're fat of course.

I've lost count of the times I've read some variation of "I want to lose weight so I can love and respect myself." My personal advice is love and respect yourself so you can begin your life along with your diet.
Yay, Colleen. I often identify particularly with your posts. I too am a high acheiving 'fat chick' and have never let how I look affect my self-worth. I know I am worthy in so many other ways than to be stereotyped because I weighed more than my peers. However I do know we are the exception rather than the norm so I'm not surprised by the results of the study.

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Old 11-27-2007, 10:18 PM   #24
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wow..they'll study anything now a days. I can't say i necesarily agree. I was very obese when i went to college...and i came from a high school that was mostly thin people..i was probably one of the heaviest there. I not only went to college, but graduate with 3 degrees (one being a dvm). Weight was never an influence...but i think its because of my parents. My parents told me i could do/be whatever i wanted if i tried heard enough!!!!!! oh well..i think its more to do with a lot of other factors not just overwt...parental influence, school, person's themselves
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:56 PM   #25
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Studying the social effects of obesity is nothing new. When I was a graduate student in psychology in the late 80's and early 90's I was very interested in obesity related research, and there was a lot available. I probably would have used it for my thesis if I had been less self-conscious of my own weight. I certainly collected enough research, but I just couldn't get over the fact that some of the thesis commity might think I was trying to make excuses for my own weight, or that I would seem ridiculous.

I don't remember the statistical details of the studies, but I remember the gist of them all, and it wasn't good. In replicated (repeated with the same results) studies kindergarten children were shown pictures of other children and asked who they would like to be friends with. The majority said they would not want to be friends with the fat kid. In studies of college women, a large number (I believe between 25 and 35 percent) reported that they would choose to abort a child if the child was known to carry a gene that predisposed (not guaranteed) the child towards obesity.

The abortion study is actually what turned me away from doing an obesity-related thesis, as it became a very sensitive subject for me. I was adopted as an infant, so I've always realized how close I might have come to not being on the planet, if I were conceived now and not 41 years ago. Struggling with obesity since childhood had always been tough, but the abortion survey in grad school made me realize for the first time hust how many people truly despise fat people and consider obesity a fate worse than death. I felt like I was a deer, just realizing it for the first time right in the middle of hunting season.

I think it's wonderful that so many people can say "that's never been my experience," and to some degree I've been very fortunate myself, but the research is there for anyone to see. The picture isn't very rosy. In working in social service, probation, and mental health settings, I've met women who have never applied for a job because they were ashamed of their weight. I met a 400 lb prostitute, after a suicide attempt. I have to admit that at the time I was pretty naive. Just out of college, I didn't even know there was enough work available for a 400 lb prostitute to support herself (apparently not only from men who were "into" fat chicks, but also for "jobs" that "normal" prostitutes found too unpleasant or degrading).

"Fat discrimination," is real and well documented. As obesity is becoming a more common problem, I don't know if the discrimination has gotten or will become better or worse.
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