Examining the Content of Fat Talk Conversations Across Gender and Ethnicity

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Reid, Jocelyn
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Middle Tennessee State University
Fat talk is dialogue that involves communication focused on physical appearance, weight management, exercise behaviors, and idealized body achievement. Although Caucasian females reportedly engage in fat talk most often, few studies have examined fat talk participation across both gender and ethnicity. The current study used a questionnaire and scenario responses to measure engagement in fat talk and health talk in an ethnically diverse sample of undergraduate men and women (N = 170). Women self-reported more fat talk than men, and Caucasians reported more fat talk Non-Caucasians; no significant interaction was found. On the scenario responses, participants were most likely to join in the exercise behavior/planning, deny/dismiss the fat talk, or to commiserate. Some gender and ethnic differences in response to the scenario were identified. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of fat talk and health talk patterns.
College students, Disordered eating, Fat talk, Health talk