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Changing perceptions of weight in Great Britain: comparison of two population surveys.

Johnson F, Cooke L, Croker H, Wardle J - BMJ (2008)

Bottom Line: Comparison of data on self perceived weight from population surveys in 1999 and 2007.Household surveys of two representative samples in Great Britain. 853 men and 944 women in 1999, and 847 men and 989 women in 2007.In 1999, 81% of overweight participants correctly identified themselves as overweight compared with 75% in 2007, demonstrating a decrease in sensitivity in the self diagnosis of overweight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To examine changes in public perceptions of overweight in Great Britain over an eight year period.

Design: Comparison of data on self perceived weight from population surveys in 1999 and 2007.

Setting: Household surveys of two representative samples in Great Britain.

Participants: 853 men and 944 women in 1999, and 847 men and 989 women in 2007.

Main outcome measures: Participants were asked to report their weight and height and classify their body size on a scale from "very underweight" to "obese."

Results: Self reported weights increased dramatically over time, but the weight at which people perceived themselves to be overweight also rose significantly. In 1999, 81% of overweight participants correctly identified themselves as overweight compared with 75% in 2007, demonstrating a decrease in sensitivity in the self diagnosis of overweight.

Conclusions: Despite media and health campaigns aiming to raise awareness of healthy weight, increasing numbers of overweight people fail to recognise that their weight is a cause for concern. This makes it less likely that they will see calls for weight control as personally relevant.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Fig 1 Proportion of men and women who perceived themselves overweight. All BMI values rounded down
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fig1: Fig 1 Proportion of men and women who perceived themselves overweight. All BMI values rounded down

Mentions: The effect of survey year on perception of overweight was highly significant, with participants in 2007 less likely to perceive themselves as overweight, given their weight group, sex, age, and education. Figure 1 shows how perceptions of overweight changed across the BMI spectrum and between the two surveys.


Changing perceptions of weight in Great Britain: comparison of two population surveys.

Johnson F, Cooke L, Croker H, Wardle J - BMJ (2008)

Fig 1 Proportion of men and women who perceived themselves overweight. All BMI values rounded down
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2500200&req=5

fig1: Fig 1 Proportion of men and women who perceived themselves overweight. All BMI values rounded down
Mentions: The effect of survey year on perception of overweight was highly significant, with participants in 2007 less likely to perceive themselves as overweight, given their weight group, sex, age, and education. Figure 1 shows how perceptions of overweight changed across the BMI spectrum and between the two surveys.

Bottom Line: Comparison of data on self perceived weight from population surveys in 1999 and 2007.Household surveys of two representative samples in Great Britain. 853 men and 944 women in 1999, and 847 men and 989 women in 2007.In 1999, 81% of overweight participants correctly identified themselves as overweight compared with 75% in 2007, demonstrating a decrease in sensitivity in the self diagnosis of overweight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To examine changes in public perceptions of overweight in Great Britain over an eight year period.

Design: Comparison of data on self perceived weight from population surveys in 1999 and 2007.

Setting: Household surveys of two representative samples in Great Britain.

Participants: 853 men and 944 women in 1999, and 847 men and 989 women in 2007.

Main outcome measures: Participants were asked to report their weight and height and classify their body size on a scale from "very underweight" to "obese."

Results: Self reported weights increased dramatically over time, but the weight at which people perceived themselves to be overweight also rose significantly. In 1999, 81% of overweight participants correctly identified themselves as overweight compared with 75% in 2007, demonstrating a decrease in sensitivity in the self diagnosis of overweight.

Conclusions: Despite media and health campaigns aiming to raise awareness of healthy weight, increasing numbers of overweight people fail to recognise that their weight is a cause for concern. This makes it less likely that they will see calls for weight control as personally relevant.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus