Evaluation of medical students’ implicit and explicit biases towards obesity

Brandon Worth, Colony Fugate

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction: Obesity is well documented to affect all body systems. The view of society towards individuals with obesity is negative and those who are obese can have negative views of themselves and others with obesity. Further, physicians are less likely to build rapport with individuals who have excess weight. In response, medical schools have established curricula in an attempt to educate their students on the obesity epidemic and weight bias.

Research Hypothesis: An obesity course taught at a US medical school will positively influence medical students' views on obesity.

Study Design: Retrospective data analysis of three years of medical student responses to Implicit Association Test (IAT) and post-course surveys used to determine explicit attitudes about obesity.

Methods: We analyzed 98 IAT's and 298 post-course surveys.

Results: Both pre and post-course IAT demonstrated implicit bias with p-values of <0.0001 and 0.0008 respectively. The course did produce a statistically significant difference in the implicit bias with a p-value of 0.0497. The pre and post survey analysis showed that students did not display explicit bias against persons with obesity and were more likely to respond in an obesity-favoring manner.

Conclusion: These results showed the curricula taught at the US medical school was effective in altering the implicit views of medical students.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 22 Aug 2020
EventOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Day 2019 - Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, TULSA, United States
Duration: 21 Feb 201922 Feb 2019


ConferenceOklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Research Day 2019
Abbreviated titleResearch Day 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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