Do People in the UK Underestimate their Weight?

Body, BeforeMore than a third of UK residents who think of themselves as overweight are actually clinically obese, a European survey has shown.

The survey, carried out for the European Association for the Study of Obesity, also found that a fifth (20%) of UK adults who consider themselves to be of normal weight are in fact overweight.

This compares with 16% in France and 10% in Italy.

Body, AfterThe online survey of 14,000 people in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK was weighted to be representative of national age and sex distributions.

The UK part of the survey was based on 2000 adults who were asked to provide their heiht and weight, from which their BMI (body mass index) was calculated.

Data from these self reports showed that 20% of respondents would be classed as obese and a further 33% would be overweight.

Less than a fifth of UK residents identify obesity as a disease, the lowest proportion in Europe.


Wise, J. (2015) People in UK Under-estimate Their Weight. BMJ 2015;350:h2621.


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