Body weight perception among Sri Lankan cardiac patientsReport as inadecuate

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BMC Obesity

, 3:32

Epidemiology and ethnicity


BackgroundMisperception of body weight by individuals is a known occurrence. However, it is a potential target for implementing obesity reduction interventions in patients with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to describe the association between self-perception of body weight and objectively measured body mass index BMI among cardiac patients in a specialist cardiology institution in Sri Lanka.

MethodDuring the study period, 322 61 % males and 204 39 % females were recruited from consecutive admissions to the Institute of Cardiology, National Hospital, Colombo, Sri Lanka. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to assess demographic characteristics, medical records and body weight perception. Weight, height and waist circumference WC were measured and Asian anthropometric cut-off points for BMI and WC were applied.

ResultsThe mean BMI of the study population was 23.61 kg-m. Body size misperception was seen in a significant proportion of the cohort. 85.2 % of overweight patients reported themselves to be of ‘normal weight’ or even ‘underweight’. Moreover, 36 % of obese patients misperceived body weight as being of ‘normal weight’ while 10.9 % considered themselves to be ‘underweight’. 61.9 % of males and 68.8 % of females with central obesity reported themselves to be ‘underweight’ or ‘normal weight’. Among a subgroup with co-morbid metabolic diseases, significant under-perception of body size was seen.

ConclusionsSignificant body size misperceptions were noted in this group of cardiac patients. The disparity of perception was seen increasingly with increasing BMI. More than two thirds of overweight and more than half of obese patients believed themselves to have normal or less than normal weight.

KeywordsWeight perception Cardiac Body mass index Sri Lankan Overweight, obese Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s40608-016-0113-5 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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