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Am J Public Health. 1983 February; 73(2): 171–178.
PMCID: PMC1650524

Effects of being overweight.


Based on cross sectional data from a general population of 5,817 people aged 14 to 61, objective overweight is compared with perceived overweight, and information is provided on morbidity due to being overweight, and on what people are doing to try to lose weight. We found that 10 percent of this population are moderately overweight and 12 per cent are severely overweight (although 41 per cent perceive they are overweight). Being overweight is associated with poorer functional status (e.g., overweight is given as the main reason for functional limitations by 13 per cent of people with such limitations) and with considerable pain, worry, and restricted activity because of this condition (e.g., 88 per cent of people who believe they are overweight worry at least a little about it). Only about 7 per cent of those who perceive they are overweight are under a doctor's care to lose weight. If physicians wish to assume a larger role in caring for overweight people, the nature of their role must be carefully evaluated.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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  • Newhouse JP. A design for a health insurance experiment. Inquiry. 1974 Mar;11(1):5–27. [PubMed]
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  • Stewart AL, Ware JE, Jr, Brook RH. Advances in the measurement of functional status: construction of aggregate indexes. Med Care. 1981 May;19(5):473–488. [PubMed]

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