London: A British academic believes that children’s books, including Harry Potter, demonise overweight youngsters by portraying fat characters as mean and unpopular.
Many popular children’s stories – from Harry Potter to the Billy Bunter series – depict overweight youngsters as greedy and unpleasant, she claimed.
Writing in the Times Educational Supplement, professor Jean Webb from the children’s literature research centre at the University of Worcester called for more balance in the way fat pupils are represented.
“It’s a delicate area and you must not marginalize particular groups,” she wrote.
The character of Dudley Dursley in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series is one example of how overweight characters were portrayed as bad.
“Dudley is a fat little rotter and his fatness is presented as a moral failing,” she said.