Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Clinical Nutrition

Committee Chair

Ruth Williams-Hooker

Committee Member

Brook Harmon

Committee Member

Leslie Schilling

Committee Member

Sara Bridges


Background: Studies have assessed weight bias among pre-health professionals, but no experimental research has tested the difference in weight bias between freshmen and senior pre-health professionals. Such studies are needed to examine if a difference exists that could impact future treatment and health evaluations.Objective: This study assessed the prevalence of weight bias in freshmen and senior undergraduate students in health care majors.Methods: Twenty-nine participants were randomized to read one of four patient profiles, which varied in sex and weight characteristics. Participants evaluated their patient's health status, treatment participation, and answered questions from the Fat Phobia Scale, Marlowe Crowne's Social Desirability Scale, EAT26 Scale (a measure of eating attitudes), and General Self-Efficacy Scale.Results: Participants showed a moderate amount of fat phobia (mean 3.27± 0.20). Participants rated obese female patients as having poorer diet quality, health status, and energy intake than non-obese female patients, while obese male patients were rated as having poorer health status, regardless of equivalent health information given across patients.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.