Date: November 2008
Creator: Greenleaf, Christy; Martin, Scott B. & Rhea, Deborah J.
Description: This article discusses how fat stereotypes influence beliefs about physical education. Abstract: Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine college students' beliefs about youth obesity, the roles of schools and physical education in addressing obesity, and the training they receive to work with overweight youth. Methods and Procedure: Physical education-related (n=212) and nonphysical education-related (n-218) majors completed a demographic questionnaire, a Modified Fat Stereotypes Questionnaire (M-FSQ), and a Perceptions of Physical Education Questionnaire. On the basis of M-FSQ scores, participants were identified as endorsing stereotypes (n=360) or not endorsing stereotypes (n=70). Results: The importance of youth being normal weight was rated most highly among participants in physical education-related majors and among those who endorsed fat stereotypes. Participants who endorsed fat stereotypes, compared to those who did not, were more likely to believe that all school professionals should be involved in treating childhood obesity. Participants who endorsed fat stereotypes, compared to those who did not, more strongly agreed that physical educators should be role models by maintaining a normal weight and educating parents on childhood obesity, and PE classes should focus on lifelong fitness. No group differences in perceived competencies to develop exercise, weight loss, nutritional, and educational programs ...
Contributing Partner: UNT College of Education