A recent survey in the US has shown that many women are not aware they are overweight, with a quarter of those questioned wrongly believing they were of average size when evidence prooved otherwise. In the UK, another study has shown adults here also have a false idea of their body size, with a YouGov poll showing that three out of four obese people in the country were unaware of their weight problem.
The extent of obesity in the UK, and our lack of awareness of it, means that there is also a greater risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. In the UK, two-thirds of all adults now considered overweight or obese; however, many experts claim that it is our environment that makes it difficult to recognise and deal with weight issues. Our modern lives are built around convenience, from fast food to transport, which can make weight problems inevitable.
Dr Shahrad Taheri, lead clinician in obesity at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital, commented “Our environment is designed to trick us into eating fast food and doing little exercise. In the UK we have the biggest obesity problem in Europen, yet we continue to have this difficulty with perception. It may be easy to spot those people who are very overweight, but it’s the middle of the road people that are missed.”
Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum argues that obesity is now so common that we are aware of it. He said “Everybody is getting heavier and, as a result, people think ‘I’m not so heavy – look at her’ and then fail to realise they themselves have a problem.”
In the US research, it was revealed that people who didn’t realise they had weight problems were far less likely to be worried about becoming more healthy and doing more exercise to counteract their lifestyle .

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