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Am J Mens Health. 2011 Jan;5(1):30-7. doi: 10.1177/1557988309359803. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Awareness of obesity and diabetes: a survey of a subset of British male drivers.

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  • 1University of Birmingham, UK.


Behavior modification necessary to tackle obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) requires individual awareness of the existing problem.


This study aimed to assess body weight perception, awareness of the relation between adiposity and T2DM, and the relation between adiposity and weight loss attempts.


Male drivers were recruited randomly from motorway service stations between May and July 2007, completed a questionnaire and had body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and body composition.


Participants included 266 men, median age 52 years, and BMI 28.25 kg/m2. Obesity prevalence was 46% based on BMI and 73% based on WC. Participants underestimated their WC (94.3 ± 10.2 vs. 102.9 ± 11.41 cm, estimated vs. actual, p < .001). Of participants with normal BMI, 18% thought they were overweight, whereas 26% of overweight thought they were "just right" and 19% of obese recognized their obesity. Based on WC, 30% of participants with normal WC thought they were obese and 9% of obese realized they were obese. Only 25% and 42% of participants recognized that T2DM is associated with large waist and obesity, respectively. A total of 81% of overweight and 62% of obese participants (based on BMI) believed that they were not at increased risk of T2DM. Self-perception of adiposity weakly predicted weight loss attempts (λ = 0.28, p = .008).


Male drivers significantly underestimate their adiposity and risk of T2DM. Further public education regarding obesity, its associated health risks, and the benefits of weight loss is needed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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