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The Role of BMI Group on the Impact of Weight Bias Versus Body Positivity Terminology on Behavioral Intentions and Beliefs: An Experimental Study

Stewart, Sarah-Jane and Ogden, Jane (2019) The Role of BMI Group on the Impact of Weight Bias Versus Body Positivity Terminology on Behavioral Intentions and Beliefs: An Experimental Study Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 634. pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

This experimental study investigated the role of BMI on the impact of weight bias versus body positivity terminology on behavioural intentions and beliefs about obesity. Participants (n=332) were randomly allocated to two conditions to receive a vignette depicting an image of a person with obesity using either weight bias (n=164) or body positivity (n=168) terminology. Participants were divided into 3 groups based upon their BMI category (normal weight n=173; overweight n=92; obese n=64). They then completed measures of behavioural intentions, obesity illness beliefs and fat phobia. Although there were several differences in beliefs by BMI group, the results showed no differences between weight bias or body positivity terminology on any measures. There were, however, significant BMI group by condition interactions for beliefs about obesity relating to personal control and treatment control. Post hoc tests showed that weight bias resulted in reduced personal control in the obese BMI group compared to other participants. Weight bias also resulted in higher personal control over obesity in normal weight individuals compared to body positivity. People with obesity reported higher treatment control when exposed to weight bias compared to overweight participants, whereas normal weight participants reported greater treatment control when exposed to body positivity compared to both other groups. To conclude, the impact of weight bias and body positivity information is not universal and varies according to the BMI of the audience and the outcome being measured; whereas people of normal weight may benefit from weight bias there is no evidence that obese people benefit from body positivity. Implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Stewart, Sarah-Janes.f.stewart@surrey.ac.uk
Ogden, JaneJ.Ogden@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 22 March 2019
DOI : 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00634
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 Stewart and Ogden. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Obesity; Weight bias; Body positivity; Experiment; Beliefs; Causality; Behaviour
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 27 Mar 2019 14:01
Last Modified : 27 Mar 2019 14:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/850892

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