The effect of knowledge on healthcare professionals' perceptions of obesity

Thazin Wynn, Nazrul Islam, Charlotte Thompson, Khin Swe Myint

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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Aims: We aim to investigate the link between obesity prejudice and knowledge of obesity, and any differences in prejudice and knowledge amongst healthcare professional (HCP) groups. Methods: A survey consisting of two previously validated questionnaires assessing obesity prejudice (Attitudes Towards Obese Persons, ATOP1) and knowledge (Obesity Risk Knowledge Scale, ORK-102) were sent to HCP groups in an East Anglian NHS trust. An R2 coefficient was used to determine a correlation between the two scores, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to assess differences between HCP groups. Results: 436 responses were received, 372 of which were complete and analysed. HCP groups included consultants, junior doctors, nurses, health care assistants, operating department professionals, and pharmacists. The average ATOP and ORK-10 scores were 69.1/120 and 7.09/10 respectively. A statistically significant difference was found between HCP groups' ORK-10 scores (p < 0.05); there was no statistically significant difference demonstrated between the ATOP scores (p = 0.50). Conclusions: Obesity prejudice was demonstrated amongst HCPs, although this did not correlate with knowledge of obesity. Knowledge of obesity was low amongst many HCPs and could be improved via targeted educational strategies aiming to aid staff in the care of people with obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
JournalObesity Medicine
Early online date28 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • Obesity
  • Prejudice
  • Knowledge
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Weight stigma

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