A recent study shows that many young women may not realize whether their weight is healthy or not, which could have consequences for their diet and lifestyle habits. Researchers found that among more than 2,200 women ages 18 to 25, “weight misperception” was common among both normal-weight and overweight women.
Of the 1,062 study participants who were normal weight or underweight, 16 percent believed themselves to be overweight. Meanwhile, one-quarter of heavier women — including 37 percent of overweight women and 10.5 percent of obese women — believed their weight was normal or too low. The problem with such misperceptions, the researchers say, is that they may lead to less-than-healthy lifestyle habits. Indeed, the study found that normal-weight women who felt they were overweight were more likely than those with accurate perceptions to try unhealthy weight-control tactics — like skipping meals and using diuretics or diet pills. The findings were reported in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.