Peters, Derek M.; Jones, Ruan J. A.
June 2010
Kinesiology;Jun2010, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p36
Academic Journal
Anti-fat bias has been previously identified amongst practising obesity health care specialists, physical education (PE) teachers and students of exercise science and PE in samples in the USA and New Zealand. The present research investigated the perceptions of the physical self of 'fat' versus 'normal-weight' children held by 167 students studying sport exercise and PE related programmes in higher education in England. One- sample t-tests identified that the sample held negative perceptions towards 'fat' children (identified by subscale mean scores that were significantly different from the subscale mean of 2.5 that would identify equivocal perception between 'fat' and 'normal-weight' children) on five of the six subscales of an adapted version of the Children & Youth Physical Self Perception Profile (CONDITION 1.52±.49; BODY l.63±.43; PHYSICAL SELF-WORTH 1.79±.47; SPORT 1.88±.45; GLOBAL SELF-ESTEEM 2.10±.50, all p<.01; STRENGTH 2.48±.52, p=.67). Such results are indicative of the obesity discourse that currently prevails within PE and sport professions; a discourse constructed, arguably, on misleading foundations. Obesity awareness training is, therefore, required in such trainee exercise science, sport and PE populations. Pedagogical approaches espoused during programmes of study ought to emphasize personal meaning, personal reference and child-centeredness so that such approaches are more likely to be employed in their future professional practice.


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