Teaching module for obesity bias education: incorporating comprehensive competencies and innovative techniques

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Background: The majority of the United States population is overweight or obese, and obesity bias is frequently reported by patients. Obesity bias is associated with adverse health outcomes, even independent of body weight. Primary care residents are often sources of obesity bias towards patients with weight, yet education regarding obesity bias is significantly lacking in most family medicine residency teaching curricula. The aim of this study is to describe an innovative web-based module on obesity bias and discuss its impact in family medicine residents. Methods: The e-module was developed by an interprofessional team of health care students and faculty. It consisted of a 15-minute video containing five clinical vignettes that depicted instances of explicit and implicit obesity bias in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. Family medicine residents viewed the e-module as part of a dedicated one-hour didactic on obesity bias. Surveys were administered prior to and following the viewing of the e-module. They assessed previous education on obesity care, comfort in working with patients with obesity, residents’ understanding of their own biases in working with this population, and the anticipated impact of the module on future patient care. Results: A total of 83 residents from three family medicine residency programs viewed the e-module and 56 completed both the pre and post survey. There was a significant improvement in residents’ comfort in working with patients with obesity as well as their understanding of their own biases. Conclusion: This teaching e-module is a short, interactive, web-based educational intervention that is free and open-sourced. The first-person patient perspective allows learners to better understand the patient’s point of view and its PCMH setting illustrates interactions with a variety of healthcare professionals. It was engaging and well received by family medicine residents. This module can begin the conversation around obesity bias, leading to improved patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number340
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • E-Learning
  • Explicit
  • Implicit
  • Obesity Bias
  • Resident Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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