Psychological and behavioral correlates of excess weight: misperception of obese status among persons with Class II obesity.

Research paper by Megan M Jones, Carlos M CM Grilo, Robin M RM Masheb, Marney A MA White

Indexed on: 01 Sep '09Published on: 01 Sep '09Published in: International Journal of Eating Disorders


This study examined psychological and behavioral correlates of weight status perception in 173 Class II obese adult community volunteers.Participants completed the Eating Disorder Examination-Self-Report (EDE-Q), Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ), Beck Depression Inventory, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale online. Key items assessed dieting frequency, weight history, and perceived current weight status (normal weight, overweight, or obese). Actual weight status was determined using NIDDK/CDC classification schemes.Among participants with Class II obesity, 50.9% incorrectly classified their weight as overweight versus obese, whereas 49.1% accurately perceived their weight status as obese. Inaccurate participants reported significantly less binge eating and less eating disorder psychopathology. Despite similar BMI, inaccurate participants reported less distress regarding overeating and loss of control over eating.Our findings suggest that obesity status underestimation is associated with less eating disorder psychopathology. Underestimation of obesity status may exacerbate risk for negative health consequences because of a failure to recognize and respond to excess weight.