Study of the Day: Most Overweight Mexicans Think Their Weight Is Normal

More

Mexico has one of the highest obesity rates in the world, and new research suggests that weight misperception may be the reason why.

Study of the Day

PROBLEM: Nearly a quarter of overweight and obese Americans misjudge their weight. How do young adults in Mexico compare?

METHODOLOGY: University of Illinois researchers collaborated with scientists at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potos for the Up Amigos project. They surveyed 3,622 18- to 20-year-old applicants to the Mexican university about their weight status and conducted physical exams, which included height, weight, and body mass index measurements.

RESULTS: More than a third of the respondents didn't report their weight accurately. The overweight and obese subjects fared the worst, as nearly 58 percent of them described their weight as "normal." The gap between perception and reality was smaller among the college-aged women than men.

CONCLUSION: Body mass misperception is an important barrier to weight loss among Latinos.

IMPLICATION: Identifying weight problems at the beginning of adult life is crucial. Co-author Margarita Teran-Garcia explains in a statement: "If these young people follow the wrong trajectory, continuing to accumulate weight, they are likely to develop heart disease and diabetes."

SOURCE: The full study, "Weight Status Misperception Among Mexican Young Adults," is published in the journal Body Image.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Hans Villarica writes for and produces The Atlantic's Health channel. His work has appeared in TIME, People Asia, and Fast Company.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In