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Guys Don’t Think Size Matters



In most countries the ratio of obesity between men and women is approximately equal. Yet, the clients in most obesity clinics and weight loss centres are mainly women.

So what is with the guys?

This question was now examined by Jane deVille-Almond and colleagues from the UK in a paper just published online in the American Journal of Men’s Health.

For this study, 266 male drivers were randomly recruited from motorway service stations and asked about body weight perception and awareness of the relation between adiposity and diabetes as well as weight loss attempts.

The median age of participants was 52 years, and 46% were obese based on BMI and 73% based on waist circumference.

Of participants with normal BMI, 18% thought they were overweight, whereas 26% of overweight participants thought they were “just right” and only 19% of obese participants recognized their obesity.

Based on WC, 30% of participants with normal waist circumference thought they were obese and 9% of obese participants realized they were obese.

Only 25% and 42% of participants recognized that diabetes is associated with large waistlies and obesity, respectively.

A total of 81% of overweight and 62% of obese participants (based on BMI) believed that they were not at increased risk of diabetes.

Perhaps not surprisingly, self-perception of adiposity in men was only a weak predictor weight loss attempts.

I guess a lot more has to be done to bring obesity awareness to menfolk’s attention – especially given that their risk for metabolic complications and early infarcts associated with excess weight is as high if not higher than that of women.

AMS
Edmonoton, Alberta

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Deville-Almond J, Tahrani AA, Grant J, Gray M, Thomas GN, & Taheri S (2010). Awareness of Obesity and Diabetes: A Survey of a Subset of British Male Drivers. American journal of men’s health PMID: 20413385

2 Comments

  1. Based on WC, 30% of participants with normal waist circumference thought they were obese and 9% of obese participants realized they were obese.

    So slim men are more likely than obese men to believe themselves obese? Or is there a typo somewhere?

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  2. Andreas, I have seen other studies which came up with similar conclusions to this. It is common for the very overweight or obese to believe themselves to be in better shape than others with a more realistic attitude regarding health and body size. There was another study done about a year ago which demonstrated that people generally compare their own body size and develop opinions based on those around them. Essentially, that if an obese person associates with or is close to other individuals who are equally as big or bigger, they will develop the impression that they are of average size and have better attitudes regarding their own health.

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