Obesity bias in primary care providers

Birgit N. Khandalavala, Anantha Rojanala, Jenenne A. Geske, Jessica B. Koran-Scholl, Thomas P. Guck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: At the forefront of the obesity epidemic, obesity bias is an under-recognized and widely prevalent barrier to optimal care of the obese patient, even among primary care professionals. Recommendations for the reduction of obesity bias include increasing provider awareness about the complex etiology of obesity and the difficulties obtaining sustainable weight loss METHODS: Obesity bias was measured in primary care professionals (n=233) participating in a continuing education program, using the Anti-Fat Attitudes Questionnaire (AFAQ). Three sub-factors, "Fear of Fat," "Willpower," and "Dislike," were evaluated. Participants were divided into three primary care experience groups: least experienced (0-9 years, n=67), moderately experienced (10-19 years, n=49), and most experienced (20+ years, n=98). "Fear of Fat" and "Willpower" components were found to be more prevalent than "Dislike"; however, scores on the "Dislike" subscale were highest and significantly more prevalent in the group with the most experience RESULTS: Results indicated that more experienced primary care professionals reported greater bias toward obese people than less experienced colleagues CONCLUSIONS: Ongoing continuing education that recognizes the wide prevalence of obesity, encourages respect for people of size, and mitigates obesity stigma should be promoted for all providers, particularly those who have been in practice for many years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-535
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Volume46
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

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    Khandalavala, B. N., Rojanala, A., Geske, J. A., Koran-Scholl, J. B., & Guck, T. P. (2014). Obesity bias in primary care providers. Family medicine, 46(7), 532-535.