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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: UK adults' implicit and explicit attitudes towards obesity
Authors: Flint, Stuart W
Hudson, Joanne
Lavallee, David
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Keywords: Anti-fat attitudes
Implicit and explicit attitudes
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Flint SW, Hudson J & Lavallee D (2015) UK adults' implicit and explicit attitudes towards obesity, BMC Obesity, 2 (31), Art. No.: 31.
Abstract: Background: Anti-fat attitudes may lead to stigmatisation of and lowered self-esteem in obese people. Examining anti-fat attitudes is warranted given that there is an association with anti-fat behaviours. Previous studies, mainly outside the UK, have demonstrated that anti-fat attitudes are increasing over time.  Methods: The study was cross-sectional with a sample of 2380 participants (74.2 % female; aged 18–65 years). In an online survey participants reported demographic characteristics and completed a range of implicit and explicit measures of obesity related attitudes.  Results: Perceptions of obesity were more negative than reported in previously. Main effects indicated more negative perceptions in males, younger respondents and more frequent exercisers. Attitudes about obesity differed in relation to weight category, and in general were more positive in obese than non-obese respondents.  Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate anti-fat attitudes across different sections of the UK population. As such, this study provides the first indication of the prevalence of anti-fat attitudes in UK adults. Interventions to modify these attitudes could target specific groups of individuals with more negative perceptions as identified here. Future work would be useful that increases understanding of both implicit and explicit attitudes towards obesity.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: © 2015 Flint et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University
Leeds Beckett University
School of Sport

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