Weight bias, health consciousness and behavioral actions (activities)

Matthew Wood, Paurav Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examines the influence of weight bias and health consciousness on eating and dietary be- havior; it also investigates the role of normative influences. Design and methods: A sample of adults living in South-East England (N = 498) completed anonymous question- naires about their diet, attitudes and beliefs towards obese people, health consciousness and normative influ- ences. The survey included validated measures of anti-fat attitudes, and beliefs about obese people. Results: The findings demonstrate anti-fat attitudes are positively related to self-perceived dietary behavior. Sur- prisingly, self-perceived dietary behavior is negatively related to health consciousness and activities designed to enable healthy eating, for example meal planning. Significant differences exist between people with, or without, obese family members. Conclusions: Attempts to improve eating behavior by raising health consciousness and offering related support activities may fail; promoting health eating may also contribute to weight bias in society. However, interventions which focus on the negative impact of obesity itself may have a positive effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalEating Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2016


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