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Study – Obese Women & Children Underestimate Their Weight

Submitted by on April 11, 2011 – 7:37 pmNo Comment

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April 11, 2011

The American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity / Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011 Study shows an interesting finding. After interviewing urban, mostly Hispanic children and women they found that those with normal weight estimated their body weight correctly.

Those who were overweight or obese underestimated their actual weight when asked a variety of questions about age, income, health and perception of body size – using silhouette images.

Obesity is a growing North-American health issue – many would say it is a crisis. Obesity brings greater risk of serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

The researchers findings include:

• 65.8 percent of the mothers surveyed were overweight or obese.
• 38.9 percent of children surveyed were overweight or obese.
• 81.8 percent of obese women underestimated their weight compared to 42.5 percent of overweight and 13.2 percent of normal weight women; similarly, 86 percent of overweight or obese children underestimated their weight compared to 15 percent of normal weight children.
• Of mothers with overweight or obese children, almost half (47.5 percent) thought their children were of normal weight.
• Children selected larger body images than those chosen by their mothers to describe an “ideal” or “healthy” body image for a woman.
• 41.4 percent of the children in the study thought their moms should lose weight.

The findings suggest that those most widely affected by obesity are unaware of their own perilous health issues and that their perception of themselves creates a huge barrier to healthier life and weight loss.

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