Researchers have identified another cause of the American obesity epidemic – too many of us don’t realize that we’re overweight.
In fact, the doctors and other experts who published this hypothesis this week in Archives of Internal Medicine have a clinical name for this problem: body size misperception. And about 8% of adults in Dallas have it, according to their study.
The primary symptom is that when shown pictures of nine figures – ranging from very thin to morbidly obese – these adults selected an “ideal body size” that was the same or bigger than the image they thought best reflected their own body size. The result is that they failed “to recognize a need for weight loss,” according to the study.
Body size misperception was more common among African Americans and Latinos than among whites. Income and socioeconomic status were not linked to the diagnosis, the researchers reported.