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


First stem cell-based approach to treat type 2 diabetes effective in mice
A combination of human stem cell transplantation and antidiabetic drugs proved to be highly effective at improving body weight and glucose metabolism in a mouse model of type 2 diabetes.

Following gestational diabetes, obese women who put on 5 kg are more than 40 times more likely to develop full blown type 2 diabetes
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that in women who have developed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy, being obese before the pregnancy and putting on more weight after it massively increases the risk of later developing type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Healthy diet reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by a third in over-40s
Men and women who adapt their daily diet to meet current UK dietary guidelines could reduce their risk of a heart attack or a stroke by up to a third, according to a new study by King's College London.

Excessive vitamin intake in pregnant rats impacts food choices in offspring
A research group at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine has been using a rat model to see how maternal intake of above-requirement vitamins (A, D, E, and K) impact offspring's brain development and behaviour.

Losing weight substantially reduces atrial fibrillation
Obese patients with atrial fibrillation who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight were six times more likely to achieve long-term freedom from this common heart rhythm disorder compared to those who did not lose weight.

Dietary dioxins not associated with increased breast cancer risk
Estimated exposure to dioxins through dietary intake is not associated with an increased risk of developing a breast cancer among low exposed women, according to a large cohort study published in open access journal Breast Cancer Research.

Genetic analysis of current smokers shows that high tobacco consumption lowers body weight
Published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology, a new study of 80,342 participants, including 15,220 current smokers, from the Copenhagen General Population Study has shown that smokers who consume a high amount of tobacco are more likely to weigh less.

How changes in body weight affect the human metabolism
Until now there have been few molecular epidemiological studies regarding the effects of weight changes on metabolism in the general population.

Workplace lifestyle intervention program improves health
A healthy lifestyle intervention program administered at the workplace and developed by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health significantly reduces risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, according to a study reported in the March issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Onion extract may improve high blood sugar and cholesterol
The extract of onion bulb, Allium cepa, strongly lowered high blood glucose (sugar) and total cholesterol levels in diabetic rats when given with the antidiabetic drug metformin, according to a new study.
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 Men's Health 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...

100 No-Equipment Workouts

100 No-Equipment Workouts
by Neila Rey (Author)


The 100 Workouts Book is for everyone who wants to stay active, get fit, build muscle tone and/or shed extra weight in the home environment without acquiring any extra equipment. Different workouts, some are more challenging and some are easier than others, will ensure that your muscles don't get used to the same regime, giving you more in return, and also help you stay active and not get bored with the same routine. Visual routines are designed to guide you through the workout, as you go from one exercise to the next, in an easier fashion than in a video. Just follow the routine and have fun! You don't have to work through the entire book; you can pick the workouts you like most or randomly select one and make it a workout of the day. Ideally you want to do 3-4 workouts per week.

Bodyweight Training: Rapid Muscular Enhancement Using Bodyweight Only Training

Bodyweight Training: Rapid Muscular Enhancement Using Bodyweight Only Training


The Most Effective and Complete Guide to Bodyweight Training, Muscle Growth, and Athletic Development
From Olympic Gymnasts to Prison Inmates, bodyweight exercises are used to rapidly increase strength and muscle mass. It does not matter whether you are an aspiring Olympian or the average guy looking to build some serious muscle mass, body weight training can get you there – if it’s done correctly!
Unfortunately the correct programming of bodyweight training is completely misunderstood by the majority of athletes and coaches. Throughout my years of coaching and consulting with some of the best athletes and Olympians in the world, I have documented how to correctly implement bodyweight training in order to achieve stunning results. Rapid muscular enhancement and strength...

Weight Loss: Lose Weight with this fat loss guide and get thin (Slimming, lose fat, losing weight, lose belly, feel good, feel great, be happy)

Weight Loss: Lose Weight with this fat loss guide and get thin (Slimming, lose fat, losing weight, lose belly, feel good, feel great, be happy)


Weight Loss Lose Weight with this fat loss guide and get thin
Get free from the cycle of dieting and re-gaining weight. Develop the habits that will lead to health, vitality, and a trim physique for a lifetime.

This book shows you how to get back into shape without dieting. The obvious pitfall of any diet whatsoever is that as soon as you go back to eating in the way you did before the diet started, your body starts the yo-yo, which in effect leaves you worse off than you were before you started dieting. Thus, you need to find a system that doesn't do that, and this is it.

In Weight Loss - Lose Weight with this fat loss guide and get thin you will learn:How to change your thinking about treats and comfort foodsHealthy replacements for the foods that are...

Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Training

Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Training
by Ashley Kalym (Author)


Using solely their bodyweight for resistance and relying on minimal equipment, readers will learn how to perform a range of exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, core exercises, and lower body exercises. Read this book, and develop the strongest and most capable physique ever.Complete Calisthenics includes everything you need to know, such as;Step-by-step instructions with over 500 photographs to guide you through the exercises.Nutritional advice with simple-to-follow diet plans and sample diets.Program creation to suit your needs.Complete Calisthenics is the most detailed and comprehensive bodyweight exercise manual available on the market today. It is for anyone; male or female, beginner or advanced who is interested in building complete strength and taking their workouts and...

The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, Third Edition: The Ultimate Men's Body Sculpting and Bodybuilding Guide Featuring the Best Weight Training Workouts ... Plans Guaranteed to Gain Muscle & Burn Fat

The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, Third Edition: The Ultimate Men's Body Sculpting and Bodybuilding Guide Featuring the Best Weight Training Workouts ... Plans Guaranteed to Gain Muscle & Burn Fat
by James Villepigue (Author), Hugo Rivera (Author)


NEW EDITION FEATURING THE 14-DAY BODY SCULPTING WORKOUT AND MORE!

It's body sculpting at its best--the best exercises and the best training schedule out there, anywhere. Also includes a complete nutrition guide and diet plan for maximum results.

The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, Third Edition is now bigger and better than ever! Now with updated and revised material, it contains all the original detailed exercises that made it a best-selling phenomenon, plus:
• New Rapid Body Sculpting Workouts and Bodyweight Workouts
• Six new diet plans, including milk-free and ovo-lacto-vegetarian diets
• Even more tips and helpful information to keep you motivated and help you reach your fitness goals

This comprehensive guide includes not only exercises but also...

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight--and What We Can Do about It

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight--and What We Can Do about It
by Harriet Brown (Author)


Over the past twenty-five years, our quest for thinness has morphed into a relentless obsession with weight and body image. In our culture, "fat" has become a four-letter word. Or, as Lance Armstrong said to the wife of a former teammate, "I called you crazy. I called you a bitch. But I never called you fat." How did we get to this place where the worst insult you can hurl at someone is "fat"? Where women and girls (and increasingly men and boys) will diet, purge, overeat, undereat, and berate themselves and others, all in the name of being thin?

As a science journalist, Harriet Brown has explored this collective longing and fixation from an objective perspective; as a mother, wife, and woman with "weight issues," she has struggled to understand it on a personal level. Now, in Body...

Bikini Body NOW: 14-Step Power Plan to End Bikini Stress!

Bikini Body NOW: 14-Step Power Plan to End Bikini Stress!


From the Best Selling weight loss writer, Linda Westwood, comes Bikini Body NOW: 14-Step Power Plan to End Bikini Stress!. This book will jump-start your weight loss, increase your energy level, clear your mind, and improve your overall health!

If you feel like you need to give your weight loss a kick-start...
If you feel like you're ready for a full-body transformation...
Or if you're just sick of working out and seeing NO resultst...

THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!

This book provides you with a 14-Step Power Plan that will have you transforming your entire body - especially your abs, butt and legs - in ONLY 14 STEPS!

It comes with the information, workouts, and all the steps that you need to know!

Are you ready to...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com