Do physical education teachers and general teachers differ in their implicit anti-fat bias?

P. W. C. Lau, B. W. C. Leung, A. J. Pitkethly, L. Ransdell

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


The purpose of this study was to examine implicit attitudes of physical education (PE) and non-PE teachers towards overweight children stratified by gender, age, and body mass index.

Two hundred school teachers (50% PE and 50% non-PE), aged 23-60 (mean=33.5 years) from Hong Kong, China, completed the validated implicit association test to measure attitudes towards overweight children. On the good-bad scale, there were no significant differences between scores for type of teacher. Younger teachers showed more weight discrimination against overweight students compared to their older counterparts. The interaction between type of teacher and gender was significant for the motivated-lazy score. Compared to PE teachers, non-PE teachers demonstrated less discrimination toward the overweight students on motivated-lazy score. Teachers demonstrated implicit weight discrimination toward overweight students. PE teachers are more prone to negative stereotypes related to motivation and laziness. The order of 1 Introduction 2 Literature review 3 Method 4 Results 5 Discussion 6 Conclusion greatest overweight discrimination against overweight students was (1) male PE teachers, (2) female PE teachers, (3) non-PE female teachers and (4) non-PE male teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

User-Defined Keywords

  • body size discrimination
  • weight stigmatization
  • overweight children
  • fat discrimination


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