A new study reveals that a good portion of the American female population is mistaken in their perception of where they fall in terms of a healthy weight. While there is certainly more to overall health than just numbers on a scale, beliefs about weight and BMI can have a lot to do with how people approach their health.
Information gathered in the study, published in December’s Obstetrics & Gynecology, shows that about 25% of overweight women believe that they are within the normal range of bodyweight. Women who feel as though they fall within a healthy weight range are less likely to make changes to their diets or eating habits. These women may also be less likely to participate in a regular exercise program for weight loss.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, nearly one in five women who fall within a normal weight range see themselves as being overweight. This can lead to unhealthy behaviors like crash diets, diet pills and foregoing meals in an effort to lose weight that doesn’t necessarily even need to be lost.
Estimating your own BMI can easily lead to misconceptions in either direction, which can put you at risk for unhealthy or dangerous behaviors. In order to get a more exact estimate of your body mass index and what you need to do to become healthier, talk to your health care provider. Your health care provider will be able to easily and accurately assess your health and make appropriate suggestions to help you reach and maintain a healthy bodyweight.