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Misperception of body weight in Peruvian women

Misperception of body weight in Peruvian women

Budge, Sophie and Jaworowska, Agnieszka (2014) Misperception of body weight in Peruvian women. In: Appetite. Elsevier, p. 402. ISSN 0195-6663 (Print), 1095-8304 (Online) (doi:

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The prevalence of obesity is still increasing worldwide and in many countries has escalated to epidemic proportions; in Peru recent data estimate 50% of adults have excess body weight. Evidence suggests that the global increase in obesity is associated with incorrect perception of body size which is an important determinant of weight-related behaviours. Data were collected from 232 adult females randomly recruited from a local community in the department of San Martin, Peru. Body weight and height were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Information regarding self-perceived body weight, health perception and socio-demographic data was collected using a questionnaire and compared with measured BMI (Pearson's Chi square test, p ≤ 0.05). 63.7% of women were classified as overweight/obese by BMI, but only 14.7% considered themselves as overweight. Overall, 78% of participants underestimated their body weight, and no incidence of overestimation was reported. Furthermore, underestimation of body weight was more common among obese/overweight than normal weight women (χ2 = 120.2; p < 0.001). No association between body weight misperception and age, educational level, marital and employment status was observed. However, body weight underestimation was significantly higher among women from rural than urban community (83.3% vs. 72.35%; χ2 = 4.0; p = 0.046). Women who perceived themselves as overweight felt less comfortable with their body weight, but surprisingly their weight and health status were less important to them compared with women classified as overweight based on measured BMI. Underestimation of body weight among Peruvian women is common which may present a challenge for public health interventions aiming to tackle obesity epidemic.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Appetite
Additional Information: Poster presented at UK Congress on Obesity, on September 17 2014, Birmingham, UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Obesity
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2021 04:46

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