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Int J Eat Disord. 1993 Dec;14(4):467-80.

Fat phobia: measuring, understanding, and changing anti-fat attitudes.

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Department of Family Practice and Community Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis.


We examined fat phobia, defined as a pathological fear of fatness, by constructing the Fat Phobia Scale, determining its reliability and validity, examining correlates of fat phobia, and using a treatment approach designed to decrease fat phobia. Study 1 describes the development of the Fat Phobia Scale, a 50-item, modified 5-point semantic differential scale. Subjects (974 females and 117 males) completed the scale; factor analysis yielded six factors. Respondents who are average weight, female, younger, have more than a high school education, or are nonmedical professionals are more likely to have fat phobic attitudes. Study 2 examines fat phobic attitudes of women (N = 40) who had negative feelings about their bodies. Subjects completed the Fat Phobia Scale before and after a treatment approach designed to reduce their feelings of responsibility for fatness. Total scores on the Fat Phobia Scale and scores on all six factors decreased significantly, indicating a decrease in fat phobia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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