THE IMPACT OF A WEIGHT-INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM ON STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL MEDIA AS IT RELATES TO BODY WEIGHT
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe surge in social media usage in recent years has greatly contributed to the promotion of unrealistic beauty standards and harmful fad diets, leading to a plethora of issues surrounding body weight and the associated perception of health and wellness. As various types of social media platforms rise and unrestricted content is made available to the masses, preconceived notions of what health looks like are solidified further. This ostracizes and degrades all who do not fit this narrow, unfounded definition of “health” and contributes to the larger problems of weight stigma and weight bias. This study sought to answer the following research question, “How do individuals’ perceptions on weight, health, and nutrition in relation to social media change after becoming educated on the various interrelated issues?” Participants were interviewed to evaluate changes in attitudes and beliefs towards body size and results suggest that a weight-inclusive curriculum has the potential to positively shift attitudes and promote a more inclusive definition of health. Participants reported a decreased emphasis on weight as the sole determinant of health and stressed a more inclusive definition of health that encompasses physical, mental, and social well-being. These findings propose that weight-inclusive education may be an effective way to encourage a more inclusive understanding of health in the context of social media exposure.
Degree ProgramNutritional Sciences