Fat phobia: Measuring, understanding, and changing anti‐fat attitudes

Beatrice “Bean” E. Robinson, Lane C. Bacon, Julia O'reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


We examined fat phobia, defined as a pathological fear of fatness, by‐ constructing the Fat Phobia Scale, determining its reliability and validity, examining correlates of fat phobia, and using a treatment approach designed to decrease fat phobia. Study 1 describes the development of the Fat Phobia Scale, a 50‐item, modified 5‐point semantic differential scale. Subjects (974 females and 117 males) completed the scale; factor analysis yielded six factors. Respondents who are average weight, female, younger, have more than a high school education, or are nonmedical professionals are more likely to have fat phobic attitudes. Study 2 examines fat phobic attitudes of women (N = 40) who had negative feelings about their bodies. Subjects completed the Fat Phobia Scale before and after a treatment approach designed to reduce their feelings of responsibility for fatness. Total scores on the Fat Phobia Scale and scores on all six factors decreased significantly, indicating a decrease in fat phobia. © 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-480
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1993


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