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Table 2 Students’ beliefs about the causes of obesity (n = 71)

From: Associations between medical students’ beliefs about obesity and clinical counseling proficiency

Causes of obesity Percentage of respondents rating the importance of each to obesity Mean SD Cronbach’s alpha
1 Moderately Important 2 Somewhat important 3 Moderately important 4 Very important
Within a person’s control
A Unhealthy diet (e.g., sweetened beverages, fast food, etc.) 0 1.4 36.6 62.0 3.61 .520 0.742
B Physical inactivity 0 2.8 40.8 56.3 3.54 .556
C Overeating 0 4.2 43.7 52.1 3.48 .582
D Lack of willpower 11.4 44.3 34.3 10.0 2.43 .827
Outside a person’s control
E Poor nutritional knowledge 1.4 5.6 40.8 52.1 3.44 .670 0.706
F Lack of access to healthy foods 0 11.3 39.4 49.3 3.38 .684
G Psychological problems 0 9.9 43.7 46.5 3.37 .660
H Metabolic defect/ Endocrine disorder 0 15.5 42.3 42.3 3.27 .716
I Genetics or biological factors 1.4 19.7 52.1 26.8 3.04 .726
  1. Significant differences: I < A, B, C, E. D < A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I
  2. Significant differences were determined by one-way ANOVA followed by a Tukey’s test to correct for multiple comparisons, p < 0.05