Study: 1 in 4 overweight women ‘in denial’ about size

According to a new study, overweight women aren’t nearly self-critical enough when it comes to relative perception of their size.

The study polled around 2,000 women- only women- to discern if there was a disconnect between perceived size and actual size. And despite funding multi-million dollar industries dedicated to weight loss aids, weight loss clubs and weight loss accessories, like shoes, the study authors were of the opinion that overweight women are just not hard enough on themselves about the fact that they may be fatties.

According to the study’s data, white women tended to be appropriately horrified by their fatty-fatness, and even tended to perceive themselves as larger than they are. Conversely, black and Hispanic women were not as in tune with their weight:

Race seemed to play a role in self-perceived weight. Among overweight women, 28 percent of blacks and about 25 percent of Hispanics considered their weight within the normal range, compared to 15 percent of overweight white women. The trend was the opposite among normal-weight women, with more whites (16 percent) believing they were fat, compared to just 7 percent of blacks.

Women who were more in tune with the fact they were overweight also tended to have higher levels of education and spent more time using the internet. A woman whose bread and low-fat butter commented on the study’s results, saying women need to think more about how much they weight if they hope to not gross out other people:

“Unfortunately, women can’t do anything to lose weight if they don’t perceive themselves as overweight. It does start there,” said Keri Gans, a registered dietician based in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “If they don’t perceive themselves as overweight, they’re not going to adopt healthy behaviors to lose weight and prevent disease.”

Comments on earlier news studies regarding the study pointed out that the exclusion of men was an interesting feature, but LiveScience.com dug up an earlier study that showed overweight men were about twice as likely to perceive themselves as thinner than they are.