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J Natl Med Assoc. 2010 Feb;102(2):119-24.

Perception of weight and threat to health.

Author information

  • 1Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Dr, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA. smoore@msm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine African American women's perception of their risk for obesity-related comorbid illnesses compared to their weight category.

METHODS:

Participants were recruited from urban health centers in Atlanta, Georgia. Anthropometric measurements and self-reported demographics, medical conditions, and health beliefs about obesity and its related comorbid diseases were recorded.

RESULTS:

More than 80% of the women (N=323) were either overweight or obese. Among overweight women, 44% reported being a normal weight. Seventy-two percent of the obese women reported being overweight, and 13.6% reported that they were obese. All women reported that each disease was "very serious;" however, overweight women reported having the same risk for each disease as normal weight women. Obese women reported having a higher risk of each disease (p < .05 for all diseases).

CONCLUSION:

Overweight and obese women underestimate their weight categories. Overweight, but not obese, women reported the same perceived susceptibility for obesity-related comorbid diseases as normal-weight women. An increase in the perceived threat to health may motivate women to increase prevention efforts in the early stage of overweight to prevent or delay morbidity or mortality.

PMID:
20191924
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2921822
Free PMC Article

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