"Obese people" vs "Fat people": Impact of group label on weight bias

School of Psychology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
Eating and weight disorders: EWD (Impact Factor: 0.79). 09/2010; 15(3):e195-8.
Source: PubMed


The present study examined whether the terms "obese people" vs "fat people" impact evaluations of a target group.
Participants answered a number of questions about obese people (N=300) or fat people (N=125), including how favorable their attitudes are toward the target group, how disgusted they are with the target group, and how similar they are to the target group.
Compared to fat people, obese people were rated as less favorable and as more disgusting. In addition, participants saw themselves as being less similar to obese people than to fat people, and as less likely to become an obese person than a fat person.
Overall, the term "obese people" evokes stronger negative evaluations than the term "fat people." Researchers investigating weight bias should be aware that the specific terms used to refer to overweight and obese people can impact study outcomes and interpretations.

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