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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


MUJICA E, Verónica et al. Discordance between nutritional status and self perception of weight among adults from Talca, Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2009, vol.137, n.1, pp.76-82. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Obesity is related to underestimation of one 's own weight. Aim: To determine the agreement between nutritional status and self perception ofweight status in apparently healthy adults from Talca. Subjects and methods: Data were obtained from a survey applied at 1007 randomly selected subjects, aged 18-74 years old (66% women). The survey identified age, gender, educational level and socioeconomic status. Self-perception of weight was estimated with pictures representing the four nutritional status categories: underweight, normal, overweight and obese. Body Mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was calculated to determine nutritional status. Statistical analysis included kappa índex, Bowman s symmetry test and a logistic regression model to calculate the odds ratio in different variables related to underestimation of weight. Results: Seventy three percent of subjects were overweight or obese and 44% underestimated their nutritional status. Sixty percent ofsubjects with a BMI between 25 and 26 kg/m2, perceived themselves as normal. A higher underestimation was observed in obese subjects (odds ratio (OR) 17.2 95% confidence intervals (CI) 10.9-27.1), in overweight individuals (OR 3.5 95% CI 2.3-5.3), in men (OR 1.5 95% CI 1.1-2.1) and in people aged from 45 to 59 years (OR 1.7 95% CI 1.0-2.7). Conclusion: Almost half of studied population had an erroneous self-perception ofweight, mainly due to underestimation. Obese subjects, males and people older than 45years were those with the higher degree of underestimation.

Palabras clave : Obesity; Overweight; Self concept.

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