Abstract 14270: Body Size Misperception and Longitudinal Changes in Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: the Dallas Heart Study (DHS)
Background Body size misperception, the failure to recognize a need to lose weight among overweight/obese individuals, hinders weight loss and likely contributes to the obesity epidemic. Few longitudinal data on weight change or CV risk factors are available for people with body size misperception.
Methods Overweight/obese participants [body mass index (BMI)≥25 kg/m2] in the DHS, a multi-ethnic probability-based sample of Dallas County residents aged 18-65, were surveyed at study entry in 2000 regarding self-perceived actual and ideal body sizes using the validated Stunkard nine-figure scale. Body size misperception was defined for overweight/obese individuals as perceived ideal body size larger than or the same as perceived actual body size. Age-adjusted weight change, blood pressure (BP), and lipids at follow up in 2009 were compared between those with vs. without misperception.
Results For the study population (n=1467), those with baseline body size misperception (N=219) gained significantly more weight over the 9-year period than those without misperception [mean weight change (MWC)±SD = 3.0±8.0 kg vs. 1.7±10.8 kg, p=0.002, Table]. When stratified by sex, women with misperception gained 5 times more weight than women without misperception. Weight gain for women with body size misperception was accompanied by higher systolic and diastolic BP as compared to women without misperception at follow-up; however, there was little difference in total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol between the two groups. In contrast, for men with vs. without body size misperception at baseline, MWC and follow-up SBP, DBP, and lipids were similar.
Conclusions Among overweight/obese women, body size misperception is associated with increased weight gain and higher BP over time. These data support a role for body size misperception as a barrier to CV risk reduction among women. Targeting and countering body size misperception may be a valuable strategy for improving CV health for women.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.