Tags: overweight | underestimate

Americans Often Underestimate Their Weight

Friday, 03 Aug 2012 11:04 AM


Many overweight Americans don’t know it – or at least won’t own up to it, a new survey shows.
Despite the increasing awareness of the nation’s obesity epidemic, most Americans said they actually lost weight in response to a national year-to-year survey conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine, noted obesity increased in the U.S. between 2008 and 2009. But in response to questions about weight changes over that time, most people polled in the most widespread public health survey in the country said that they lost weight in the prior year.
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Men did a poorer job than women estimating their weight changes. Older adults were less clued in to their weight changes than young adults.
"If people aren't in touch with their weight and changes in their weight over time, they might not be motivated to lose weight," said lead researcher Dr. Catherine Wetmore. "Misreporting of weight gains and losses also has policy implications. If we had relied on the reported data about weight change between 2008 and 2009, we would have undercounted approximately 4.4 million obese adults in the US."
The findings were based on an analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a yearly survey of Americans designed to track health risk factors nationwide. More than 775,000 people were surveyed in the years analyzed about their weight – including how much they weighed on the day of the poll interview and one year prior to their interview.
The researchers found that, on average, American adults gained weight over the study period, but that the Americans polled said they had lost weight during the previous year.
SPECIAL: These 5 Things Flush 40 lbs. of Fat Out of Your Body — Read More.
"It's very popular right now to talk about the underlying environmental causes of obesity, whether it's too much fast food or not enough parks," Wetmore said. "While we know that the environment definitely plays a role, these results show that we need to do a better job helping people to be aware of what's going on with their own bodies."


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Many overweight Americans don’t know it – or at least won’t own up to it, a new survey shows.
overweight,underestimate
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2012-04-03
Friday, 03 Aug 2012 11:04 AM
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