Weighing obesity stigma: The relative strength of different forms of bias

J. D. Latner, K. S. O'Brien, L. E. Durso, L. A. Brinkman, T. MacDonald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: To compare the strength of weight bias to other common biases, and to develop a psychometrically sound measure to assess and compare bias against different targets. Subjects: A total of 368 university students (75.4% women, 47.6% white, mean age: 21.53 years, mean body mass index (BMI): 23.01 kg/m 2). Measurements: A measure was developed to assess bias against different targets. Three versions of the universal measure of bias (UMB) were developed and validated, each focusing on either 'fat,' 'gay' or 'Muslim' individuals. These were administered to participants, along with two established scales of bias against each target and a measure of socially desirable response style. Results: The UMB demonstrated good internal consistency, appropriate item-total and inter-item correlations, and a clear factor structure suggesting components of Negative Judgment, Distance, Attraction and Equal Rights. Construct validity was indicated by strong correlations between established measures of bias and each corresponding version of the new scale. In contrast to previously established measures of weight bias, the new measure was independent of socially desirable response style. Although homosexual orientation was associated with lower gay bias (P
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1145-1152
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Prejudice
    • Psychometric scale
    • Reliability
    • Stigma across targets
    • Validity
    • Weight bias


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