Health and weight attitudes of university recreation center leaders

Sae Mi Lee, Luciana Zuest, Juliana Leedeman, Shuang Li, Dawn E. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Emerging research suggests weight-neutral approaches to health promotion are effective in supporting overall health, but they have been minimally adopted within physical activity (PA) contexts. This is concerning as research shows PA-related professionals can perpetuate weight stigma, which can disrupt PA participation and enjoyment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine university recreation center (URC) leaders’ attitudes toward health and weight. Participants and methods: One-hundred forty-one URC leaders completed the online Health and Weight Attitudes Scale. Results: Women and those who wanted to maintain weight had more positive attitudes toward not dieting than men (F (1,136)=5.090, p = 0.026, ηp2 = 0.036) and those who wanted to lose weight (p = 0.015). Participants’ open-ended responses showed they held several misconceptions about the health and weight relationship and about weight-neutral eating and PA messaging. Conclusion: Educating PA professionals on weight-neutral approaches could benefit effective and inclusive PA and health promotion in URCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Health At Every Size®
  • Weight stigma
  • body size diversity
  • inclusive physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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