Recent research indicates that many young women are having trouble determining whether their weight is healthy or not. A study of more than 2,200 women ages 18 to 25 found that both normal-weight and overweight participants suffered from “weight misperception,” which could have serious impacts on their diets and lifestyle choices.
For example, women of normal weight who thought they were overweight were more apt to exhibit unhealthy behaviors, like skipping meals, abusing diuretics, or trying diet pills, in order to lose weight. Conversely, overweight study participants who believed their weight was normal were less likely to curb calories or engage in regular physical activity.
The study was published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the findings indicate that weight misperception is common and could have considerable public health implications.