Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Nearly 25 percent of overweight women misperceive body weight

November 23, 2010
A startling number of overweight and normal weight women of reproductive age inaccurately perceive their body weight, affecting their weight-related behaviors and making many vulnerable to cardiovascular and other obesity-related diseases, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston.

In the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the researchers report that nearly 25 percent of overweight and 16 percent of normal weight reproductive-age women misperceive their body weight. This is the first study to examine reproductive-age women's weight-related behaviors associated with self-perception of weight.

Overweight and obese Hispanic and African American women are significantly more likely than white women to misjudge their weight, categorizing themselves as normal. The researchers also found that overweight women who perceive themselves as normal weight were significantly less likely to report weight-related behaviors, such as dieting.

"What we found reflects the 'fattening' of America," says corresponding author Dr. Mahbubur Rahman, assistant professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health. "As obesity numbers climb, many women identify overweight as normal, not based on the scale but on how they view themselves."

Self-perception of body weight is the degree of concordance between perceived and measured weight. The National Institutes of Health defines overweight as having a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 25 kg/m2 - a measurement calculated by dividing an individual's body weight by the square of his or her height (kg/m2). Normal weight is defined as having a BMI of 18.5󈞄.9 kg/m2.

More than half of reproductive-aged women in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese by BMI standards, with minority women at greater risk. Currently, 82 percent of African American women and 75 percent of Mexican-American women meet the criteria for being overweight or obese.

Self-perception of Weight and Related Behaviors

The study analyzed more than 2,200 women 18-25 years old based on survey questions pertaining to sociodemographic variables, height, weight, weight perceptions and weight-related behaviors. Women with BMIs below 25 were considered normal weight and those with BMIs of 25 or more were considered overweight. Overall, 52 percent of the study participants were considered overweight or obese.

Using calculated BMI and participants' responses to self-perception questions of weight, the researchers divided the women into four categories: "overweight misperceivers," overweight women who describe themselves as under- or normal weight; "overweight accurate perceivers," overweight women who described themselves as overweight; "normal weight misperceivers," normal weight women who described themselves as overweight; and "normal weight accurate perceivers," normal weight women who described themselves as normal- or under-weight.

Weight-related behaviors assessed included using diet pills, powder or liquids, laxatives or diuretics; induced vomiting; skipping meals; dieting/eating less or differently; smoking more cigarettes; and not eating carbohydrates. Respondents were also asked about the number of days over the last week that they exercised for at least 30 minutes continuously.

Significantly more Hispanic and African Americans - nearly 25 and 30 percent, respectively - were overweight misperceivers compared with white women, 15 percent of whom were included in this category. However, significantly more white and Hispanic women were normal weight misperceivers - approximately 16 and 20 percent, respectively.

Overweight misperceivers had significantly lower odds of participating in healthy or unhealthy weight-related behaviors. Normal weight misperceivers were more than twice as likely to diet, skip meals and smoke more cigarettes; the respective odds were nearly four and five times higher with regard to using diet pills, powder, liquids and diuretics.

These findings were especially concerning, as the lower likelihood of overweight misperceivers to practice healthy weight loss behaviors has a negative impact on obesity prevention, and the higher likelihood of normal weight misperceivers to practice unhealthy weight loss behaviors can lead to harmful medical and psychological consequences.

Self-perception of Weight: The First Step for the Obesity Prevention Ladder

"Weight misperception is a threat to the success of obesity prevention programs," says lead author Dr. Abbey Berenson, professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health. "Overweight individuals who do not recognize that they are overweight are far less likely to eat healthfully and exercise. These patients are at risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other serious problems."

The researchers recommend that clinicians calculate patients' BMI at each visit as part of their vital signs, routinely screen for misperceptions of body weight and inquire about unhealthy weight-related behaviors so that they can counsel patients appropriately.

"This is especially important for reproductive-age women because they are more likely to be obese than similarly aged men, often because they've had at least one child and have not lost pregnancy weight and find that their schedules make it difficult to exercise and eat healthfully," adds Berenson.

###

ABOUT UTMB

Established in 1891, Texas' first academic health center comprises four health sciences schools, three institutes for advanced study, a research enterprise that includes one of only two national laboratories dedicated to the safe study of infectious threats to human health, and a health system offering a full range of primary and specialized medical services throughout Galveston County and the Texas Gulf Coast region. UTMB is a component of the University of Texas System.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston


Related Body Weight Current Events and Body Weight News Articles


Men fare worse than women in China regarding discrimination among obese workers
New research that analyzes economic disparity among obese Chinese adults shows that there is no wage disparity for obese women in China, but there is pay inequality among obese men.

Scientists discover the miracle of how geckos move, cling to ceilings
Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a model that explains how geckos, as well as spiders and some insects, can run up and down walls, cling to ceilings, and seemingly defy gravity with such effortless grace.

Beating childhood cancer does not equal healthier adults
Having survived cancer as a child does not necessarily have a ripple effect that makes people lead a healthier lifestyle once they grow up.

Medicinal oil reduces debilitating epileptic seizures associated with Glut 1 deficiency
Two years ago, the parents of Chloe Olivarez watched painfully as their daughter experienced epileptic seizures hundreds of times a day. The seizures, caused by a rare metabolic disease that depleted her brain of needed glucose, left Chloe nearly unresponsive, and slow to develop.

Losing weight won't make you happy
Weight loss significantly improves physical health but effects on mental health are less straightforward, finds new UCL research funded by Cancer Research UK.

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites
In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success.

Boost for cancer prevention research
Queen's University scientists are helping to spearhead a new £6 million initiative to find better ways to prevent cancer. The new initiative, led by Cancer Research UK with matching investment from the BUPA Foundation, aims to support cutting-edge research to find better ways to prevent cancer.

Understanding how neurons regulate metabolism in response to a high-fat diet
The brain plays a central role in regulating appetite and whole-body metabolism.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find new calorie-burning switch in brown fat
Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have identified a signaling pathway that switches on a powerful calorie-burning process in brown fat cells.

ALMA finds double star with weird and wild planet-forming discs
From movies to television, obesity is still considered "fair game" for jokes and ridicule. A new study from researchers at Bowling Green State University took a closer look at weight-related humor to see if anti-fat attitudes played into a person's appreciation or distaste for fat humor in the media.
More Body Weight Current Events and Body Weight News Articles

You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises

You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises
by Mark Lauren (Author), Joshua Clark (Author)


From an elite Special Operations physical trainer, an ingeniously simple, rapid-results, do-anywhere program for getting into amazing shape.

As the demand for Special Operations military forces has grown over the last decade, elite trainer Mark Lauren has been at the front lines of preparing nearly one thousand soldiers, getting them lean and strong in record time. Now, for regular Joes and Janes, he shares the secret to his amazingly effective regimen—simple exercises that require nothing more than the resistance of your own bodyweight to help you reach the pinnacle of fitness and look better than ever before.

Armed with Mark Lauren’s motivation techniques, expert training, and nutrition advice, you’ll see rapid results by working out just thirty minutes a...

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy

Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy
by Bret Contreras (Author)


Increase strength, build mass, burn fat, and define your muscles. With full-color anatomical illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and training advice, Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy is the authoritative resource for sculpting your physique without free weights, machines, or expensive equipment. Targeting all muscle zones and primary muscle regions—arms, chest, shoulders, back, core, thighs, glutes, and calves—Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy presents 156 of the most effective bodyweight exercises that can be performed anytime, anywhere. With expert advice from renowned strength trainer Bret Contreras, you’ll learn how to modify, combine, and sequence exercises to ramp up your routine and avoid plateaus. In depth yet practical, Bodyweight Strength Training...

Men's Health Your Body is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days!

Men's Health Your Body is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days!
by BJ Gaddour (Author)


With Your Body Is Your Barbell, a reader will have no excuse not to get into the best shape of his or her life . . . simply, easily, and in just 6 weeks in the convenience of his or her own home. Metabolic training expert BJ Gaddour, CSCS, whom Men’s Health magazine calls one of the 100 fittest men of all time, has created a remarkably efficient and effective body-transforming workout and nutrition program based on just a handful of simple moves, the Bodyweight Eight. These no-equipment-required exercises are all one needs to build a strikingly symmetrical, perfectly proportioned, and classically beautiful physique, just like BJ’s.Once readers master each legendary fitness feat with perfect form, they will use BJ’s scalable, step-by-step progressions to go from ground zero to...

Total Body Transformation: Lose Weight Fast-and Keep It Off Forever!

Total Body Transformation: Lose Weight Fast-and Keep It Off Forever!
by Michelle Bridges (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Get ready for a Total Body Transformation!
 
Meet Michelle Bridges, the straight-talking star trainer of Australia’s The Biggest Loser and founder of Australia’s #1 online weight-loss program. With her 12-Week Body Transformation, Michelle has inspired her countrymen and women to lose more than two million pounds.
 
Now, in Total Body Transformation, she shares her unique exercise, nutrition, and mindset program, which will give you the power to transform your body in just 90 days. Her goal: To help you lose weight rapidly and keep it off for good. Join the hundreds of thousands of people who have already discovered the magic of her method and get the skinny on
 
Diet: Michelle combines nutrition know-how with delicious,...

Weight Loss Stories: How I Transformed Over 230 Lbs. of Body Fat into a Ripped Lean and Mean Machine (With Pictures Included)

Weight Loss Stories: How I Transformed Over 230 Lbs. of Body Fat into a Ripped Lean and Mean Machine (With Pictures Included)
by Talent Writers


If you want your body to be more chiseled, defined and lean, but aren’t sure how go about getting those kind of results, this book will help you embark on the road to RIPPED. It presents my personal story of how I managed to blast fat and replace it with solid, metabolism-churning muscle. You’ll learn all about my fast-tracked workouts that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously and what foods I ate to speed the muscle-building process. The difference between this book and similar transformation stories is that it not only focuses on weight loss, but on strength gain, which is integral to protecting your body from injury and giving it more definition. My book anticipates and answers every question, which clarifying and simplifying everything you need to in a conversational way,...

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman's Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Woman's Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less, and Loving More
by Jessica Ortner (Author), Christiane Northrup M.D. (Foreword)


Many women live their lives believing that they can’t ask for what they want until they change something they’re unhappy with. No promotion until they get new skills. No relationship until they establish their career. No fulfillment until they find love. One of the most common conditions women place on themselves is weight loss—no love until they lose weight, no sex until they lose weight, no happiness until they lose weight. But Jessica Ortner, co-producer of the highly successful documentary on meridian tapping, The Tapping Solution, offers women a better choice. Why not lose the weight and create the life you’ve always dreamt of?As a culture obsessed with weight loss, we all know the latest fads that claim to help us drop pounds instantly. What often isn’t discussed is the...

Bodybuilding Diet: A Complete Guide to Supplements, Nutritional Support and Dietary Tactics

Bodybuilding Diet: A Complete Guide to Supplements, Nutritional Support and Dietary Tactics


The Most Complete Guide To Nutrition, Diet, and Supplements
Diet and Supplementation can have truly extraordinary effects on performance, health, and optimal body function. It doesn’t matter whether you are an athlete looking to achieve the limits of human performance, a bodybuilder trying to increase muscle mass and shred fat, or the average person who wants to improve their health - there is an optimal diet and nutrition strategy that can help you. Nutritional and dietary support is crucial to your success and this book will teach you everything you need to know.

You Will Learn:
1) A Full Course In Nutrition – from the basic macronutrients (Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats) to the complete spectrum of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
4-Week Bodyweight Home Workout (Workout Series Book 1)

4-Week Bodyweight Home Workout (Workout Series Book 1)


4-Week Bodyweight Home Workout is the first workout program of Workout Series. This fitness book consists of 12 full body workouts with detailed photos and steps of each and every exercise.

This workout book is NOT a motivational read. It was designed to be a no fluff, straight to the point, photo based workouts that begins the week 1 workouts easier and gets harder throughout the entire workout program.

Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (The Build Healthy Muscle Series)

Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (The Build Healthy Muscle Series)
by Michael Matthews (Author)


INTRODUCING MICHAEL MATTHEWS' #1 BESTSELLER WITH OVER 70,000 COPIES SOLD!
If you want to be muscular, lean, and strong as quickly as possible without steroids, good genetics, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym and money on supplements...then you want to read this book.

Here's the deal: Getting into awesome shape isn't nearly as complicated as the fitness industry wants you to believe.
You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars per month on the worthless supplements that steroid freaks shill in advertisements.You don't need to constantly change up your exercise routines to "confuse" your muscles. I'm pretty sure muscles lack cognitive abilities, but this approach is a good way to just confuse you instead.You don't need to burn through buckets of protein powder...

30 Exercises to Do at Work. Exercises that you can do in your office to stay Energized, Focused and Healthy.: Bodyweight Exercises to Do at Work and the ... Healthy Recipes for Snacks to Eat at Work)

30 Exercises to Do at Work. Exercises that you can do in your office to stay Energized, Focused and Healthy.: Bodyweight Exercises to Do at Work and the ... Healthy Recipes for Snacks to Eat at Work)


30 Exercises to Do at Work. Exercises that you can do in your office to stay Energized, Focused and Healthy

30 Exercises to Do at Work’ is an attempt to fill in the lacuna of a handy guide that will allow you to work out right at your office desk. People often find themselves lost for time to set aside for a dedicated workout schedule. The weekdays are eaten up by the ever growing pile of work being generated either and the weekends are full of demands by family and social commitments. It becomes an ordeal to be able to devote any time to yourself after all of these tasks. The question comes then, how can a workout even appear on the to-do list?

Also with Two complete Bonus chapters with information you can use right away and Now!
Download this...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com