You’d think that home would be a safe haven for them, but a new study in the journal Obesity reveals that even parents can come down hard on their heftier offspring. Researchers at the University of North Texas in Denton have found that parents may be less likely to chip in and help their overweight kid buy a car. “No one is going to be surprised that society discriminates against the overweight, but I think it is surprising that it can come from your parents,” researcher Adriel Boals told Reuters…

Why might parents discriminate against their own heavy, but ostensibly adored offspring? Maybe they fear – and rightly so — that they’re less likely to succeed in life. Studies have documented that overweight adults often don’t fare as well at work, in school and in love. They are also less likely to complete high school, enter and finish college or get married and more likely to be poorer. Maybe it’s subconscious: “I don’t think the parents are doing this knowingly,” says Boals. Or maybe it’s Darwinian: survival of the fittest, in a literal sense.