Cultural Change and Explicit Anti-fat Attitudes in a Developing Nation: A Case Study in Rural Dominica

Sarah Krebs Council, Caitlyn Placek


Research has demonstrated the negative effects of social stigma on overweight and obese individuals. Beyond a burgeoning obesity epidemic, there appears to be a globalization of negative attitudes towards obesity. This study examined anti-fat attitudes among women from the Common wealth of Dominica using a standardized psychometric scale - the Attitudes Towards Obese Persons Scale (ATOP). We examined the impact of education level, body mass index, measures of development, and media usage on perceptions of obesity. Results demonstrated that rural Dominican women have high levels of anti-fat attitudes that are trending with developing and industrialized nations. The presence of a Facebook account was significantly associated with ATOP scores. There were significant interaction effects among Facebook account and age, as well as Facebook account and garden work. These findings suggest that online social networking increases anti-fat attitudes among women who are young and non-traditional.


anti-fat attitudes, fat stigma, development, social media, Facebook, Dominica

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