How to lose weight bias fast! Evaluating a brief anti-weight bias intervention

Diedrichs, Phillippa C. and Barlow, Fiona Kate (2011) How to lose weight bias fast! Evaluating a brief anti-weight bias intervention. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16 4: 846-861. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8287.2011.02022.x

Author Diedrichs, Phillippa C.
Barlow, Fiona Kate
Title How to lose weight bias fast! Evaluating a brief anti-weight bias intervention
Journal name British Journal of Health Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1359-107X
Publication date 2011-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.2044-8287.2011.02022.x
Volume 16
Issue 4
Start page 846
End page 861
Total pages 16
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives. Although experiencing weight bias is associated with poor physical and psychological health, health professionals often stigmatize overweight and obese clients. The objective of this study was to evaluate a brief educational intervention that aimed to reduce weight bias among Australian pre-service health students by challenging beliefs about the controllability of weight.

Design. Non-equivalent group comparison trial.

Methods. Undergraduate psychology students were assigned to an intervention (n= 30), control (n= 35), or comparison (n= 20) condition. The intervention condition received a lecture on obesity, weight bias, and the multiple determinants of weight; the comparison condition received a lecture on obesity and the behavioural determinants of weight; and the control condition received no lecture. Beliefs about the controllability of weight and attitudes towards overweight and obese people were assessed 1 week pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, and 3 weeks post-intervention.

Results. After receiving the lecture, participants in the intervention group were less likely to believe that weight is solely within individual control and were also less likely to hold negative attitudes towards overweight and obese people and rate them as unattractive. These changes were maintained 3 weeks post-intervention. There were no such changes in the control or comparison groups. Disparagement of overweight and obese peoples’ social character increased over time for participants in the control condition but did not change in the comparison or intervention groups.

Conclusions. This study provides evidence that brief, education-based anti-weight bias interventions show success in challenging weight controllability beliefs and reducing weight bias among pre-service health students.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 18 Mar 2012, 18:30:49 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology