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Tags: weight | misperception | obese | underestimate

Study: Weight Misperception Common

Monday, 09 April 2012 12:03 PM EDT

Think you’re weight is OK for your height? You may want to double-check. A new study suggests more than a third of overweight and obese Americans underestimate how much they weigh.
University of Illinois researchers who surveyed more than 3,600 college applicants found one in three couldn't report their weight accurately. They also found overweight and obese men were more likely to underestimate their weight than women.
"This misperception is important because the first step in dealing with a weight problem is knowing that you have one," said Margarita Teran-Garcia, a nutritionist who led the study, published in the journal Body Image. "If these young people follow the wrong trajectory, continuing to accumulate weight, they are likely to develop heart disease and diabetes. It's much better if they deal straightforwardly with the fact that they're gaining weight while they're young."
For the study, researchers tracked the height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) of 3,622 18- to 20-year-olds and asked them to complete surveys in which they reported their weight status.
Although nearly 34 percent of the men were clinically overweight or obese, only half of them described themselves as such. By comparison, 28 percent of women were overweight or obese, and about 21 said they believed they were.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American teens are even less likely to report their weights correctly, the researchers said.

© HealthDay

Many obese, overweight people think they weigh less than they actually do.
Monday, 09 April 2012 12:03 PM
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