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Unconscious Weight Bias Among Nursing Students: A Descriptive Study

Department of Nursing 4822 E, Francis Marion University, Palmetto St. Florence, SC 29506, USA
Behavioral Sciences Department 8620 Spectrum Center Blvd, Ashford University, San Diego, CA 92123, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Healthcare 2019, 7(3), 106;
Received: 9 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 12 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing Care)
There has been both an increase in obesity and anti-obesity bias in the United States. The Harvard Weight Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a reliable, valid test that can measure unconscious weight bias. First semester Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students were surveyed anonymously mid-semester and at the end of the semester after completing the Harvard Weight IAT. Sixty-nine out of 77 students completed pre- and post-surveys. Weight preference towards others was not shown to be related to the respondent’s own self-reported body mass index (BMI). The majority of respondents exhibited more weight-related bias on the IAT than they realized. The three qualitative themes that emerged included Awareness of Personal Beliefs and Stereotypes, Reminder to be Impartial, and Skepticism about the IAT. It is important for undergraduate nursing students to be aware of possible unconscious weight bias in order to provide high-quality care to patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: bias; nursing students; obesity; prejudice; activity; educational bias; nursing students; obesity; prejudice; activity; educational
MDPI and ACS Style

George, T.P.; DeCristofaro, C.; Murphy, P.F. Unconscious Weight Bias Among Nursing Students: A Descriptive Study. Healthcare 2019, 7, 106.

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