FAQ
Log In
Tuesday 6th December 2016
News
 › 
 › 

Better training cuts 'anti-obese' views

16th April 2010

A new study has suggested students entering the health service in the UK need better training to prevent discrimination against obese patients.

obese1

With evidence suggesting high rates of “anti-fat prejudice” among health professionals, a trial of 159 students examined how to combat this.

Findings reported in the Obesity journal indicated this prejudice could be influenced with better teaching about the effect of genes and the environment on obesity.

Figures show that over the past 10 years, prejudice among the public towards overweight people has increased by 66% while among those working in health professions, including doctors and nurses, the rate of prejudice is even higher.

In the latest study 159 students - including nurse trainees - taking a seven-week course on public health were split into three groups.

One was taught solely about diet and exercise being the main cause and treatment for obesity; another was taught about uncontrollable reasons for obesity - such as genetics and environmental factors such as junk-food advertising – and a third "control" group taught about alcohol.

Those taught a standard obesity programme based on diet and exercise scored 27% higher on implicit or subconscious measures of prejudice while those taught about genetic and environmental causes scored 27% lower on a test of implicit prejudice.

Study leader Dr Kerry O'Brien from the University of Manchester said being taught solely about diet and exercise implied that obese people were just lazy and gluttonous, but to a large extent weight status is inherited and health professionals needed to be aware of other influences.

 

Share this page

Comments

There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!


Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2016