Beliefs, attitudes and phobias among Mexican medical and psychology students towards people with obesity

Soto, Lucero; Armendariz-Anguiano, Ana Lilia; Bacardí-Gascón, Montserrat; Jiménez Cruz, A.
July 2014
Nutricion Hospitalaria;jul2014, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p37
Background: A high prevalence of stigmatizing attitude among healthcare personnel towards obese people has been reported. Objective: To evaluate the beliefs, attitudes and phobias that Mexican medical and psychology students have towards obese people. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 528 students enrolled at the Autonomous University of Baja California in psychology and medical schools. Weight, height and waist circumference were evaluated. Beliefs about obesity were assessed with the BAOP scale, attitudes towards obese people by the ATOP scale and obesity phobias by the F-scale. Results: Participants achieved a mean F-scale score of 3.4. Only seven per cent showed neutral or positive attitudes towards obesity (≤ 2.5). Less fat phobia was associated with beliefs that obesity was not a result of the person's self-control (p = 0.0001) and had better attitudes towards obese people (p = 0.0001). Men had higher risk of fat phobia (OR = 1.5). Conclusions: High prevalence of phobias and negative attitudes towards obesity was observed. Men had higher stigma.


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