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Not knowing your weight or height can affect your health


Size and weight are important health markers. Monitoring their evolution throughout life can make it possible, in the short and medium term, to identify certain diseases or to measure the impact of our lifestyle habits (physical activity, diet, etc.). However, according to a Polish study published on January 27 in the journal Scientific Reports, less than two-thirds of adults know their weight and less than half know their height (source 1). A phenomenon that has no consequences on their health.

To reach this conclusion, researchers from the Medical University of Silesia (Katowice, Poland) studied 744 people with an average age of 36, of whom 21 had a low body mass index (BMI), 326 had a “normal” weight. “, 221 were overweight and 176 suffered from obesity. They sought to assess how adults estimated their height and weight. Participants had to answer specific questions, such as “Do you think you are: underweight / normal weight / overweight / obese?”.

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Results? 63.5% of participants correctly estimated their BMI and 49.5% were right about their height. But a significant number of participants frequently underestimated their BMI and height: “People with a BMI in the overweight range reported being underweight (1.4%), obese (2.8% ) or self-assessed normal weight (30.8%) Similarly, participants with a BMI in the obese range self-identified as normal weight (2.6%) or self-identified as overweight ( 41.6%)”, underlines the study.

Other instructive findings:

  • Men are more likely to underestimate their weight status.
  • Adults with a “normal” BMI (between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m²) were less often dissatisfied with their height and weight than overweight or obese people.
  • “The degree of body dissatisfaction was greater in women than in men”, further specify the researchers.

In their study, the researchers point out thatnot having an accurate idea of ​​one’s weight and height could have repercussions on health:

The effect of disorders of self-perception of height and body dissatisfaction can lead to the development of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or binge eating – a major risk factor for the development of obesity.

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