New Study: Mothers Prefer Chubby Tots…But I Love My Skinny One!

Moms think chunky is cuter when it comes to their tots, a new study suggests. Researchers in Baltimore examined 280 mothers aged 18 to 46, 72 percent of whom were overweight themselves, and the moms who had overweight toddlers believed their children were normal weight, whereas the moms of underweight toddlers wished they were plumper.

The findings suggest that “U.S. mothers often do not have a realistic idea of their offspring’s weight, and many still cling to the notion that a chubby child is healthy child,” according to an article on MSNBC.

“A long time ago, it was OK to value a chubby baby when kids were underweight and we had potato famines and what not,” said researcher Erin Hager, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “It was a sign you’re doing well for yourself.”

“But that is not how it is today in the United States,” said Hager, whose study appears in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Although this study was narrow in its scope, I feel like it’s pretty representative of the opinions of the moms I meet.

As the mom of a skinny 20-month-old, I can relate with moms who wish their kids were plumper. There are times when I pray Mason would pack on five pounds, so I wouldn’t have to defend his size to other moms, or hold my breath every time he gets weighed at the pediatrician’s office. But, truly, those are my issues, and I’m trying to change my attitude. Instead, I’m choosing to focus on what a happy, joyful child Mason is.

What about you? Do you obsess over your child’s size?

Photo: Toddler via Chris Leachman/

8 thoughts on “New Study: Mothers Prefer Chubby Tots…But I Love My Skinny One!

  1. I have a long skinny four month old who is gaining steadily on his growth curve. He is exclusively breastfed and others have tried to convince me he needs solid foods so he will ” fill out”. Interesting how others make you feel your child is too thin when in fact he is a healthy weight.

  2. I am totally with you on this! Everyone always tells me how skinny my 2 year old is. Our pediatrician says he’s fine and not underweight or anything. But I feel guilty or bad when anyone comments on how skinny he is!

  3. Thanks for this! My 14 month old is a whopping 16-lbs, has yet to make it to the charts. He is happy, healthy, and amazing. I too hate the weigh-ins and defending his size, but he is perfect, he is my son.

  4. My 4 month old is about 18 lbs and 26 inches long (she still wears 3 month clothes. She was 8lbs, 20 inches at birth. She isn’t chubby at all, she has 1 single little roll on her left thigh. She is just sturdy and very healthy. Being overweight I don’t want her to struggle with her weight too. As long as she is healthly that is all the matters to me. She is my perfect little girl.

  5. Thank you for writing all the posts about struggling to get your son to gain weight. I’ve been reading this blog for quite awhile, so when we were told we needed to get our son to gain weight I came home and reread all your posts about doing that with Mason. My son seems almost exactly like yours, so I’m grateful to see how another mom is handling similar situations with food. We’ve got avocados and olive oil ready; I’m hoping we can have just as much success before his recheck in a few weeks 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for your note, Patty! Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your son. Mason goes for his 2-year-old check-up next week and I’m hoping his numbers are good. He’s keeps growing upwards instead of outwards!!

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