Investigated whether national and cultural contexts, particularly the national prevalence of obesity, predicts attitudes toward overweight people independent of personal identity and weight status. 338,121 subjects from 71 nations speaking 22 different languages completed an Internet-based study, Project Implicit. Explicit weight bias was assessed with self-reported preference between overweight and thin people; implicit weight bias was measured with the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The national estimates of explicit and implicit weight bias were obtained by averaging the individual scores for each nation. Obesity at the individual level was defined by body mass index (BMI) and obesity at the national level was determined by three publicly available weight indicators: national BMI and national percentages of overweight and underweight people. Results showed that across individuals, a greater degree of obesity was associated with weaker implicit negativity toward overweight people compared to thin people. In contrast, across nations, a greater degree of national obesity was associated with stronger implicit negativity toward overweight people compared to thin people. In summary, results indicate a different relationship between obesity and implicit weight bias at the individual and national levels.
Marini, M., Sriram, N., Schnabel, K., Maliszewski, N., Devos, T., Ekehammar, B., … Nosek, B. A. (2013). Overweight people have low levels of implicit weight bias, but overweight nations have high levels of implicit weight bias TT - [Übergewichtige haben wenig implizite Gewichtsvorurteile, aber übergewichtige Nationen haben starke Vorurteile]. PLoS ONE, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083543