A new study found that nearly 1 in 4 overweight American women believes her body weight as normal, while conversely, around 1 in 6 normal weight women regards herself as overweight.

The study was done by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and is published in the December 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Over 2200 women ages between 18 and 25 complete questionnaires that asked about health behaviors including how they perceived their body weight.  Then actual measurements were taken using the current standard definition of body mass index  (Normal 18.5-24.9; overweight 25-29.9; and obese >30).

Among the 1162 women that were actually overweight, 23% of them (misperceivers) believed they were of normal weight. Of the 1062 women who had normal weight based on their BMI, 16% considered themselves to be overweight.

The researchers concluded that weight misperception was especially common among reproductive age women and that this should be taken into account while counseling patients about weight management.

To reach the entire article found in Medical News Today click HERE.



Unfortunately, this may also extend to mothers' perception of their children's body weight - a potential reason for the dramatic increase in childhood obesity.

I recently read a study that estimated the upwards of 70% of what we thought was hunger was really thirst, and that 75% of Americans were chronically dehydrated. Let's give the body water first.

Read somewhere that you can be overweight/obese but healthy at the same time? Don't know how true is that but maybe some people wish that it is true so they can still eat whatever they want

Is it maybe a case of the sub conscious mind keeping you in your comfort zone by blocking out information that would make these women feel uncomfortable. The power of the sub conscious mind is incredible. Just a thought for discussion.

Interesting? And I have also noticed that more and more advertisements are using larger women... Love the pic... the mind tells you what you want, who needs a diet!

Unfortunately I think I am going through early Menopause because I mist my period for December and I thought that I could be pregnant but I wasn't getting any pregnancy symptoms either then late in January it came back. I am getting all the menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, dry vagina and sleepless nights and I even been putting on unnecessary weight and I can't seam to get it off. Did you know that men also goes through menopause too but they call is Andropause.I wish I could look in the mirror and something different too keep up the good work I will certainly check back next time.

It is amazing that 1 in 4 overweight women think that they are of normal weight. Have they psychologically shut off themselves so much that they cannot even get the signals from the outer world. What I mean is that when one is overweight, there are a constant flow of signals from the real world. It could be via sarcasm from a friend or tighter fitting clothes or even an own perception from a visual comparison with a leaner woman. It is amazing that the mind can shift like that and what is more amazing is that it is so prevalent.

It would be interesting to find out if it is these 1 in 4 women who are getting weight loss results or the other 3 in 4. The reason I mention it is that, could it be that these 1 in 4 women are mentally so strong that they are unaffected by their physical appearances or are they already visualizing themselves as having a leaner body thus not affected by their present appearances as they are trying to get in shape.

In these days weight is the big issue in women. I think this article is very helpful for those women who are overweight..

Very interesting indeed. I wonder what that figure will be in the next 5 years?

What's in our mind will also a great affect of that. Think of Anorexia, it's with the same concept with this article.

It's a shame that women can see them selves as they are. So many think they are over weight when they quite clearly are not. And then you have over weight women who think are not when they are. Something seriously wrong somewhere

So many women seem to have such a bad self image. In their own eyes they never look right

And yet in public school, they continue to serve the most unhealthy, packaged food to kids and teach them that it's ok to eat like that.

Girls are crazy about their weights, but most of the time the mirror is opposite than on the picture. ;0)

i think that because of the hype, some women tend to lose too much weight in the name of being overweight. too much of something as they say is dangerous.

Woo. This is interesting. Normally I think that there's a large portion of normal/underweight women regards herself as overweight and still want to lose weight. (As this is the case among my friends) However, just realized that there's even a larger portion of overweight women thinks that their weight is normal... Is it because they're affect by each other? (i.e. if their friends are all overweight, then they think that they're normal?)

Wow, I didn't know that someone overweight can actually be healthy. I thought if you were overweight, that you would be in health risk category. It seems more and more people are becoming overweight, here in Australia, I have never seen so many overweight people in all my 55 yrs.

I think most women believe they are over weight to some degree EDITOR's COMMENT: When you see the obesity rates rising, more and more of these women are probably right!

It's weird that weight misperception was especially common among reproductive age women

I do believe that some women who believe they are overweight actually are. However, I also believe that in our society, there is a lot of focus on looks and the belief that part of being a beautiful woman is having a body like the ladies out in Hollywood. So, for some women, our society messages can breed thoughts like this.

I wonder if a bit of "Groupthink" happens? As Kathy pointed out earlier, when overweight women mix with other overweight women, they see themselves as normal and wouldn't want to be seen as thinking differently to their peers. An easier cpoing mechanism would be to stay in denial.

It’s a shame that women can see them selves as they are. So many think they are over weight when they quite clearly are not. And then you have over weight women who think are not when they are.

I saw the results of a survey done by a well known women's magazine which showed that out of more than 1000 women surveyed, most women admitted to having multiple negative thoughts about the body every day.

Almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese in 1999. Today there are Even More, obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels by the year 2020

Overweight women see themselves as "fine", healthy women see themselves as over weight. Self perception is very powerful, it's a sad, but true reality we face in todays world.

This is good work done by University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). It seems that this happens with teenage girls suffering from anorexia as well.

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