Weight based stereotyping amongst pre-service health and physical educators

Thea Werkhoven (Lead Author), Wayne Cotton, Kate Russell

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The purpose of this study was to examine the fat stereotyping attitudes of pre-service health and physical educators towards overweight and obese children and to determine if these attitudes were influenced by gender or degree progression. Pre-service health and physical educators (n=38) completed the Fat Stereotypes Questionnaire and endorsed fat stereotyping attitudes on characteristics and attributes including laziness, attractiveness and friendship. Males and females exhibited differing attitudes during their second and third year of study with males associating happiness with thinness whereas females associated it with fatness. Attitudes towards obesity worsened longitudinally with degree progression. Thus, when fat stereotyping attitudes are held by pre-service health and physical educators they are influenced by progression of degree and gender. Further research is required to determine the effect that these attitudes have on the quality of teaching and learning provided to their students once they graduate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
JournalInternational Journal of e-Healthcare Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Teachers
  • health education
  • weight stereotypes
  • Physical Education and Training

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