Weight Bias & Stigma > Videos Exposing Weight Bias
To increase public awareness about weight bias, the Rudd Center has released three videos demonstrating myths and facts about weight prejudice, and the nature and extent of weight bias at home and in school, and at the doctor's office. Two of the videos are hosted by former supermodel and activist Emme and feature Rudd Center experts including Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Deputy Director. Each video uses both expert commentary and dramatic representation to address weight bias in American society, and offer concrete strategies to help combat this significant societal problem.
Research published in Obesity Facts and Family Medicine demonstrates the effectiveness of the health care video in reducing negative attitudes and weight bias among trainees in health-related disciplines. Specifically, researchers tested the freely available video as an educational intervention to reduce bias toward patients with obesity. Researchers found that viewing the video and engaging in a discussion increased beliefs that obesity is caused by multiple factors (and not simply under personal control), and decreased negative stereotypes about patients with obesity.
This research evidence suggests that using this video as an educational intervention may be effective in reducing stigmatizing attitudes among students and future healthcare professionals. The authors assert that incorporating this intervention into primary care training may be an ideal way to ensure that all students receive this training.
HBO/Rudd Center Film Is Effective Reducing Weight Bias
In a new study, researchers found that viewing an HBO film on weight stigma that was produced under the guidance of UConn Rudd Center Deputy Director Rebecca Puhl was effective in reducing weight bias. The brief film, “Stigma: The Human Cost of Obesity,” was a “bonus short” film produced as part of HBO’s 2012 documentary series called “Weight of the Nation.”
The bonus film features Dr. Puhl, who also provided research expertise and guidance to the filmmakers during its making. In the 2016 study, published in the journal Stigma and Health, researchers conducted a randomized experiment to examine the effects of viewing this film on stigma-related outcomes. The results showed that the film was effective in reducing weight stigma toward people with obesity. “Given the national reach of this film, it is exciting to see research that demonstrates its effectiveness as a stigma-reduction intervention,” Dr. Puhl said.
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