Overweight Women Think They’re Normal, While Normal Women Think They’re Fat
Women’s weight perception can be just plain wrong.
A new study of women uncovered severe “misperception” about their bodies.
Researchers from the University of Texas medical branch in Galveston, Tex asked women to fill out a questionnaire about their weight. It showed that 23 percent of the women saw themselves as normal weight even though t hey there were not. (The researchers evaluated the women according to a chart of Body Mass Index, or BMI.) On the other hand, among women who were normal weight, nearly 1 in 6 saw themselves as overweight. The women were all attending a publicly funded reproductive clinic.
Mahbubor Rahman and Abbey Berenson, both professors of obstetrics/gynecology, said the result showed that weight misperception is “common among women of reproductive age.” The women were 18-25. They said that doctors should take the possibility of weight misperception when talking about weight management with their clients.
And a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association said that either misperception could lead to unhealthy eating habits. Keri Gans said that “if women don’t perceive themselves as overweight, they’re not going to develop healthy habits. As for normal-weight women who see themselves as overweight, could make themselves sick if they become too obsessed with dropping pounds. Her remarks were reported on www.medicalnewstoday.com.
And Rahman thinks that the rise in obesity in the U.S. may also be responsible for some of the misperceptions. “They see overweight people everywhere they go,” he said, “and this has become the new norm for them. (medicalnewstoday)
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.