Obese people in UK underestimate their weight status

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People in UK underestimate their weight status

Researchers from University of East Anglia reveals, obese people in the UK underestimate their weight status and less likely to try to lose weight.

Researcher Raya Muttarak, said, this study aimed to investigate how static and financial factors are associated with self-perception of weight status, particularly weight under-assessment and attempts to lose weight.

The study used data from the annual Health Survey for England, which contains a question on weight perception. Focusing on respondents with a BMI of 25 or over, about two-thirds were classified as being overweight and one-third as obese.

After investigating 23,460 obese people, overall, 85% less likely to try to lose weight mostly in lower-income, lower-education, and minority groups.

Study outcomes

The outcomes demonstrate that the number of overweight people who are misperceiving their weight has increased over time. From 48.4% to 57.9% in men and 24.5% to 30.6% in ladies in the vicinity of 1997 and 2015.

Only about half of overweight people trying to lose weight compared with more than two-thirds of people with obesity. While this kind of body positive development helps reduce stigmatisation of larger-sized bodies, it can possibly undermine the recognition of overweight and its health consequences.

Dr. Muttarak, said, the increase in weight misperception in England is alarming and possibly a result of this normalisation. However, the higher commonness of overweight and obesity among people with lower levels of education and income may add to visual standardization.

While, the causes of socioeconomic inequalities in obesity are complex. Not only does access to health care services matter, but socioeconomic determinants identified with living and working conditions and health literacy also considerably influence health and health behaviors.