Fighting Fat: How Do Fat Stereotypes Influence Beliefs About Physical Education

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Article discussing a study on how fat stereotypes influence beliefs about physical education.

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7 p.

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Greenleaf, Christy; Martin, Scott B. & Rhea, Deborah J. November 2008.

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Article discussing a study on how fat stereotypes influence beliefs about physical education.

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7 p.

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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 for overweight youth were found. Discussion: Future research is needed to determine the extent to which these types of differences result from educational curricula that link weight and health and, possibly, reinforce negative stereotypes of overweight children. Methods for effectively intervening in educational training environments to reduce fat stereotypes among preprofessionals need to be investigated.

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  • Obesity Journal, 2008. London: Nature Publishing Group, pp. S53-S59.

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  • Publication Title: Obesity Journal
  • Volume: 16
  • Issue: 2
  • Page Start: S53
  • Page End: S59
  • Pages: 7
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

The Scholarly Works Collection is home to materials from the University of North Texas community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and serves as UNT's Open Access Repository. It brings together articles, papers, artwork, music, research data, reports, presentations, and other scholarly and creative products representing the expertise in our university community. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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  • November 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2011, 11:26 a.m.

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  • May 13, 2014, 4:45 p.m.

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Greenleaf, Christy; Martin, Scott B. & Rhea, Deborah J. Fighting Fat: How Do Fat Stereotypes Influence Beliefs About Physical Education, article, November 2008; [London, United Kingdom]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31091/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Education.