You may not be in as good as shape as you think. New research has indicated that individuals are likely to greatly underestimate their weight.
A newly published study looked at the height and weight data for Irish adults over a nine-year period. Participants were asked to estimate their height and weight. Those figures were then used to calculate their Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI categorizes indivduals as either being underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. At the conclusion of the study, the figures were measured for accuracy.
What the study showed was that while individuals were more or less consistent about their height measurements, their estimations about their weight began to spiral out of control over the nine-year period. In 1998 the accuracy rate was 80%, in 2002 it fell to 64% and by 2009 it had dropped all the way to 53%. We’re looking at just over half of the partcipants correctly estimating whether or not they are classified as obese, according to their BMI.
Denial and Being Unaware
According to the study, the rationale for this lies inherently with what people now commonly refer to as “obese.” Apparently obesity is so prevalent that individuals are having trouble understanding what the term actually means. Technically speaking, obesity refers to a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on the individuals overall health and well-being. The problem: obese individuals are either unaware about what being obese actually means in relation to themselves, or they are in denial about their weight (and don’t want to be labeled as obese).
Educating the public about the dangers of obesity is the first step towards helping individuals realize how harmful it can be towards their health, and ultimately in helping them along a brighter and healthier path.
Photo credit: stuant63