Misperceptions of Overweight: Associations of Weight Misperception with Health-Related Quality of Life Among Normal-Weight College Students

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Excerpt:Misperceptions about personal weight are common and include both under- and overestimates.1–6 Overweight misperception is found among both males and females across different racial/ethnic and age groups but is generally more common among females. Studies also indicate that body weight misperception is common among university students.2,4,7,8 In a study assessing the prevalence of weight misperception among U.S. college students, 12.9% of students had inflated body weight perception and 15.1% considered themselves to be thinner than they actually were.7 Gender and racial/ethnic differences in weight misperception have been observed among normal-weight college adults. According to the 2008 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), 28.8% of college females and 39.4% of college males were overweight or obese. However, more females (38.0%) than males (30.8%) described themselves as overweight or obese.8 Non-Hispanic white people are also more likely to report overweight misperception than other racial/ethnic minority groups.8,9