Yes, You Are Heavier Than You Think

Obesity levels are on the rise, but is it all in your head? If it is, you’d better stop trusting your head: new research suggests that under-estimating how much you actually weigh is on the increase (a bit like waist sizes).

Photo: puuikibeach

The research, published in PLoS, studied self-reporting habits when it came to calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) in Irish adults. BMI is something of a contentious measure anyway, but in this case the researchers were simply looking at how people self-reported their height and weight figures over a ten-year period.

There’s some good news, in that we’re no better or worse at reporting how tall we are than we were ten years ago, regardless of age, gender or indeed BMI. That’s rather heavily counterbalanced by the bad news, which is that we’re increasingly inaccurate in estimating body weight, and this appears to be especially true for those who would normally be diagnosed as clinically obese.

In other words, the obesity epidemic may be worse than otherwise thought, because we’re busy fooling ourselves more than we used to.

Height and Weight Bias: The Influence of Time [PLoS]

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