Staying Current Effect of an exercise and weight control curriculum: views of obesity among exercise science students

Abstract

Richardson LA, Fister CL, Ramlo SE. Effect of an exercise and weight control curriculum: views of obesity among exercise science students. Adv Physiol Educ 39: 43–48, 2015; doi:10.1152/advan.00154.2014.—Awareness of effective weight management strategies is necessary to prepare exercise science students for future work with obesity. Exercise science faculty members developed a course related to exercise as a therapeutic tool and options available for weight loss. The purpose of the present study was to investigate student views of weight management and obesity, which can be a difficult task using traditional methods such as Likert scale surveys. To investigate student views relative to the course content, Q methodology, which is a mixedmethod research approach, was used at the beginning and end of the course. Students completed a Q sort, ranking 44 statements related to obesity in accordance to their own points of view. The pretest/posttest design enabled an opportunity to determine if course goals were accomplished and if student perceptions related to obesity were transformed. Factor analysis of precourse sorts revealed that students possessed a naïve singular view of weight-related concepts. Analysis of sorts at course completion resulted in a two-factor solution revealing changes in perspective; some students took on a health professional type of view, whereas others demonstrated antifat views. In conclusion, the findings revealed key variables that should be addressed in curricula involving therapeutic obesity interventions. An improved curriculum based on these results should better encourage students to develop a broad comprehension of multifactorial causes and treatment for weight management and obesity. Implementing the use of Q methodology may serve as a valuable asset to measure and evaluate subjectivity of obesity discrimination. Antifat attitudes among exercise science students may influence future clients’ potential achievements.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Richardson2015StayingCE, title={Staying Current Effect of an exercise and weight control curriculum: views of obesity among exercise science students}, author={Laura A. Richardson and Carrie L. Fister and Susan E. Ramlo}, year={2015} }