Our Research

Weight stigma and physical activity
We are curious about the lived experiences of individuals living in larger bodies in health and fitness contexts. Our work focuses on understanding how we can create and support more inclusive environments. To date, we have focused on women’s experiences related to plus-size exercise apparel, exercise motivation, and internalization of stigma. We have recently begun exploring experiences of embodiment during physical activity.

Dr. Greenleaf is a member of the SELF magazine’s Future of Fitness Advisory Board and was interviewed for a recent article, “These 10 People Are Challenging How the Fitness Industry Treats Fatness“. Research from our lab informs her involvement in these efforts to create body-size inclusive fitness and health environments.

The Biggest Loser
We conducted a number of critical analyses of the reality television show, The Biggest Loser, that included (a) exploring the ways in which the physical trainers treated, spoke about, and interacted with contestants and (b) examining how strategies for weight loss were presented. Dr. Greenleaf was quoted in LA Times article, Forget the pounds. ‘The Biggest Loser’ tries to shed critics of its weight-loss plan (Dehnart, 2020).

Weighing behaviors

Molly Kessler assisted Dr. Lori Klos during her undergraduate education at UWM. They conducted an analysis of bridal magazines in which they explored representations of appearance control strategies.