ISSN 2717-7394

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Can Obesity Prejudice be Reduced? Intervention Study to Reduce Obesity Prejudice in Nutrition and Dietetic Students

Background: The obesity bias is defined as negative attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, and decisions towards individuals whose overweight or obese. Objectives: To identify obesity biases, attitudes, behaviors and to determine the changes in these biases, attitudes, and behaviors expected to take place through educational interventions to be conducted. Methods: The study was carried out with 57 volunteer female students studying in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Başkent University. After determining the obesity bias levels of the students who participated in the study, which was conducted at 2-week intervals and consisted of 5 stages, two interventions that involved going on a diet for a certain time and watching video films that aimed to encourage the students to establish empathy for individuals with obesity were conducted. Results:The mean pre-interventional GAMS-27 score of the students participating in the study was 76.98±9.74, and it decreased to 72.56±10.75 after the interventions. Although the mean scores obtained from the scale in both cases were in the range of bias-propensity, the difference between them was found to be significant (p <0.05). While the mean scale score of the students who stated that they were not biased against obesity was 78.4±10.12 before the intervention, it was found to decrease to 73.7±11.77 after the intervention, and this decrease was determined to be statistically significant (p <0.05). Conclusions: Obesity bias is a phenomenon that is also seen among health students. This state can be reduced with various interventions, and thus the healthcare professionals who will serve in the future will have an awareness of the issue.



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