Many overweight and obese patients do not believe their weight poses a risk to their health, according to a new University of Florida study.
Two questions were asked of a random sampling of patients in a hospital emergency department: Do you believe your present weight is hurting your health, and has a doctor ever said you are overweight? Researchers also measured the body mass index and waist circumference of those interviewed.
Some 47 percent of obese and overweight men and 62 percent of obese and overweight women believed their weight was unhealthy; the rest did not. In addition, only 19 percent of those who believed their weight was unhealthy said they’d ever discussed it with a doctor. Of those, only 30 percent said their doctor agreed that it was unhealthy.
While women in the study seemed slightly more attuned than men to the health risks of obesity, that still leaves many obese and overweight men and women who don’t see their weight as a problem.
"We see the manifestations of obesity in the emergency department,” said study author Dr. Matthew Ryan, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at University of Florida. “Obesity is directly linked to other diseases -- hypertension, diabetes, cancers, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, heart disease, strokes, and metabolic syndrome."