Twenty-five Percent of Overweight Women See No Need for Weight Loss Diet
As the number of overweight and obese people continues to rise, our perception of ‘normal’ body weight is altered. Suddenly those individuals with no excess body fat are viewed as malnourished while our mind becomes accustomed to a new overweight appearance. Even our self-perception of misplaced body fat is changing as we look in the mirror and tend to accept the extra pounds in stride.
Regardless of how our mind may be tricked, extra weight is still a significant risk factor for a host of diseases including cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer. It’s important to be able to look beyond the image you see in the mirror and determine if you need to lose weight to ensure optimal health.
One in Four Women Misperceive Their Own Body Weight
We have become desensitized to people that carry too much weight, and begin to believe that excess pounds are normal and healthy. The results of a study conducted at The University of Texas Medical Branch shows that nearly 25 percent of women misperceive their own body weight and are unlikely to take the necessary actions such as reducing calories to lose weight. This places these women at considerable risk for adverse health consequences.
Study Finding Reflects ‘Fattening of America’
The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology is the first large scale research to explain the dynamics behind a cultural phenomenon that has been manifesting for several decades. The study authors found that overweight and obese Hispanic and African American women were more likely than white women to categorize themselves as normal, and they were much less likely to report weight loss related behaviors such as dieting as a result.
The study concluded that the findings were a part of the cultural ‘fattening of America’ brought about by decades of a processed food diet and a shift away from foods in their natural form. According to corresponding author Dr. Mahbubur Rahman, "As obesity numbers climb, many women identify overweight as normal, not based on the scale but on how they view themselves." Currently 82 percent of African American women and 75 percent of Mexican-American women meet the criteria for being overweight or obese.Continued on the next page