Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Stapleton, P. (2015). Beliefs about causes of obesity: A comparison of Australian doctors, psychologists and community members. Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy, 5(1), 1-7.

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Copyright © 2014 Stapleton P.

2015 HERDC submission

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




The current study aimed to investigate differences in beliefs about causes of obesity between Australian doctors, psychologists and a community sample. Forty-one doctors, 66 psychologists and 98 community members completed questionnaires regarding beliefs about causes to obesity, including measures of obesity stigma. The results showed a consistent pattern of beliefs across groups, with all three groups having strong beliefs about behavioural and psychological causes to obesity. Further, results showed that the three groups did not have particularly strong or weak antifat attitudes and although they did not have overly favourable attitudes towards obese people, their attitudes were not highly negative. However, stronger antifat attitudes were found to be predictive of beliefs about behavioural and psychological causes, while weaker antifat attitudes were predictive of beliefs about biological causes of obesity.



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