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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.

Abstract

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

OBJECTIVES:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
20413385
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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