Adults with overweight or obesity often don’t recognize they have a weight problem

A cross-sectional analysis of NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data found that more than 40% of U.S. adults with overweight and nearly 10% with obesity did not consider themselves to be overweight. This trend has increased over the last two decades and was especially true of non-Hispanic Blacks and persons with low socioeconomic status. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine analyzed NHANES data to investigate the trends of overweight and obesity self-awareness among U.S. adults with overweight or obesity. They also looked at factors associated with obesity self-awareness and weight loss attempts among adults with obesity. Survey participants were asked about self-perception of weight using the question: “Do you consider yourself to be overweight, underweight, or about the right weight?” They found that more than a significant proportion of those with overweight or obesity did not recognize the issue.

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