Attitudes of dietitians in relation to obese individuals – An exploratory study

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Abstract

The scope of this study was to assess attitudes of dietitians in relation to obesity; involving beliefs about the characteristics attributed to obese people, the reasons that lead to obesity and obesity itself. Dietitians (N = 344; 97.1% women) were contacted via their professional council and filled out the online survey. The survey questions were translated and adapted from international studies on this subject and the responses were analyzed for concordance rate. The results pointed to strong stigmatization of obesity and prejudice against the obese, attributing characteristics such as greed (67.4%), unattractiveness (52.0%), ungainliness (55.1%), lack of willpower (43.6%) and laziness (42.3%). The most important causal factors were considered to be emotional and mood changes, food addiction and low self-esteem. Research on this topic should be enhanced since these attitudes can affect the efficacy of treatment and also to foster broad discussion and training regarding the significance of obesity and to ensure more individualized and humanized treatment for obese patients.

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Cori, G. da C., Petty, M. L. B., & Alvarenga, M. dos S. (2015). Attitudes of dietitians in relation to obese individuals – An exploratory study. Ciencia e Saude Coletiva, 20(2), 565–576. https://doi.org/10.1590/1413-81232015202.05832014

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