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POSHA-Ob (Obesity)

Studies have demonstrated that people who are overweight or obese are subject to negative public attitudes and stigma (Hebl & Heatherton, 1998; Puhl & Brownell, 2001; Puhl & Latner, 2007).

To our knowledge, there are no standard measures of public attitudes toward obesity, so the POSHA-Ob is under development. Several early pilot studies asked respondents to fill out attitudes toward being overweight or obese, and all POSHA-S pilot studies included overall impression of, wanting to be, knowledge of, and person known who is overweight or obese (e.g., St. Louis, 2005; St. Louis, Lubker, et al., 2008). (The later and final versions of the POSHA-S used the term, “obese” rather than “overweight.”) Considerable research must be carried out with experimental versions of the POSHA-Ob to determine its test-retest reliability, concurrent and construct validity, and differential effects of convenience versus probability sampling. In addition careful item analysis must be carried out to eliminate redundant items. Thereafter, it is important to estimate a “gold standard” for public attitudes toward obesity, such as from experienced, nutrition specialists and self-help groups for overweight and obese individuals.

Stakeholders or others wishing to carry out pilot studies with the POSHA-Ob regarding public attitudes toward obesity are encouraged to contact the author.