Obesity is not only associated with an increased risk of numerous health problems, but also with high rates of stigmatization and weight-related bias. Anti-fat attitudes have been shown to be prevalent in Western samples; however, there is a lack of studies investigating both implicit and explicit anti-fat bias in Asian populations. There is also limited research investigating the relationship between anti-fat attitudes and weight-related behavioral intentions. Thus, this study aimed to examine anti-fat bias and its effect on behavioral intentions using three types of measures—implicit, explicit, and a revised behavioral intention measure—in a sample of 104 Asian females in Singapore. Significant differences were found between implicit and explicit bias: on average, participants exhibited strong implicit but no explicit anti-fat bias (p < 0.001). Furthermore, only implicit anti-fat bias was found to be a significant predictor of behavioral intentions (p < 0.05), after accounting for body mass index, and sociodemographic variables. In conclusion, the present study revealed that implicit anti-fat bias is present among Asian females and is a valid predictor of weight-related behavioral intentions. However, anti-fat bias is often not expressed explicitly, possibly influenced by collectivistic beliefs. More studies are needed to better understand similarities and differences between Asian and Western populations regarding attitudes toward overweight and obese individuals.
- Anti-fat bias
- Implicit vs. explicit attitudes