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Aust Fam Physician. 2006 Nov;35(11):925-8.

Patient perception of their weight, attempts to lose weight and their diabetes status.

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  • 1BEACH, Australian GP Statistics and Classification Centre, University of Sydney, New South Wales.



Patients' self perception of weight status is a factor to be considered before an attempt is made by the clinician to initiate weight loss behaviour.


We compared the weight self assessment of 1973 general practice patients to their body mass index (BMI). Patients also ranked the success of any weight loss methods they had tried. General practitioners recorded the patients' type 2 diabetes status and this was analysed by BMI group.


Overweight/obese patients accounted for 56.6% of the sample. Forty percent of overweight and 12.5% of obese patients did not see themselves as overweight. Close to 40% of patients had attempted to lose weight in the previous year. Diet/ exercise was the most common and successful weight loss method. There was a significantly higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes among obese patients.


Despite some positive results on weight loss attempts, a considerable proportion of overweight and some obese patients do not perceive themselves as being overweight.

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