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BMC Public Health

, 11:363

First Online: 23 May 2011Received: 30 July 2010Accepted: 23 May 2011DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-11-363

Cite this article as: Bhanji, S., Khuwaja, A.K., Siddiqui, F. et al. BMC Public Health 2011 11: 363. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-11-363


BackgroundWeight loss is known to decrease the health risks associated with being overweight and obese. Awareness of overweight status is an important determinant of weight loss attempts and may have more of an impact on one-s decision to lose weight than objective weight status. We therefore investigated the perception of weight among adults attending primary care clinics in Karachi, Pakistan, and compared it to their weight categories based on BMI Body Mass Index, focusing on the underestimation of weight in overweight and obese individuals. We also explored the factors associated with underestimation of weight in these individuals.

MethodsThis was a cross sectional study conducted on 493 adults presenting to the three primary care clinics affiliated with a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. We conducted face to face interviews to gather data on a pre-coded questionnaire. The questionnaire included detail on demographics, presence of comorbid conditions, and questions regarding weight assessment. We measured height and weight of the participants and calculated the BMI. The BMI was categorized into normal weight, overweight and obese based on the revised definitions for Asian populations. Perception about weight was determined by asking the study participants the following question: Do you consider yourself to be a thin b just right c overweight d obese. We compared the responses with the categorized BMI. To identify factors associated with underestimation of weight, we used simple and multiple logistic regression to calculate crude odds Ratios OR and adjusted Odds Ratios AOR with 95% Confidence Intervals.

ResultsOverall 45.8% n = 226 of the study participants were obese and 18% n = 89 were overweight. There was poor agreement between self perception and actual BMI Kappa = 0.24, SE = 0.027, p < 0.001. Among obese participants a large proportion 73% did not perceive themselves as obese, although half n = 102 of them thought they may be overweight. Among the overweight participants, half n = 41 of them didn-t recognize themselves as overweight. Factors associated with misperception of weight in overweight and obese participants were age ≥ 40 years AOR = 3.4; 95% CI: 1.8-6.4, male gender AOR = 2.97; 95% CI: 1.6-5.5, being happy with ones- weight AOR = 6.4; 95% CI: 3.4-12.1, and not knowing one-s ideal weight AOR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.10-5.47.

ConclusionIn this cross sectional survey, we observed marked discordance between the actual and perceived weight. Underestimation of individual weight was more common in older participants ≥ 40 years, men, participants happy with their weight and participants not aware of their ideal weight. Accurate perception of one-s actual weight is critical for individuals to be receptive to public health messages about weight maintenance or weight loss goals. Therefore educating people about their correct weight, healthy weights and prevention of weight gain are important steps towards addressing the issue of obesity in Pakistan.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-11-363 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Seema Bhanji - Ali Khan Khuwaja - Fawad Siddiqui - Iqbal Azam - Khawar Kazmi

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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