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Weight Bias: A Primer for the Fitness Industry

Puhl, Rebecca M. Ph.D.; Wharton, Christopher M. Ph.D.

ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal: May/June 2007 - Volume 11 - Issue 3 - pp 7-11
doi: 10.1249/01.FIT.0000269060.03465.ab

Learning Objective: To increase awareness among fitness professionals about weight bias and its consequences, and to outline strategies for increasing sensitivity and preventing bias with overweight and obese populations.

Weight bias is prevalent among health providers, and fitness professionals have an important role to play in preventing bias toward their overweight and obese clients.

Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and associate research scientist at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. She coordinates research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight bias. Her research addresses the origins of weight bias, stigma reduction interventions, coping with weight bias, and societal and behavioral contributors to obesity.

Christopher Wharton, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral research associate at the Rudd Center. He is ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor® certified, and conducts research on individuals' interpretation of weight loss-related messaging in the media and assessment of school wellness policies related to the National School Lunch program.

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© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine