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Do you know how much you weigh? The Doctors discuss a study that found many people don't truly know their number. The study looked at 23,500 overweight or obese individuals and found only 17% of the women and 39% of the men estimated their weight accurately. Most of the participants were underestimating how much they weighed and categorizing themselves as healthier as compared to what their BMI may represent.
The authors of the study think this inaccuracy is partially due to two-thirds of the country being overweight or obese, so this becomes the norm. They also attribute the problem to vanity sizing in the clothing industry; sizes that used to be a higher number are now being marked as smaller to make customers feel better, for example, a woman who was a size 12 may now be a size 8 even though her actual body has not changed.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra shares that when you underestimate your weight, you are 85% less likely to try and lose weight. For some people, especially those with health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, weighing yourself is important.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork notes on the flip side, it is not healthy to obsess over the number on the scale. There are other measurements, like waist circumference, which are more important to get a sense of if your health is in danger. The Doctors also discuss how more physicians need to be addressing these weight issues since many of them don't broach the uncomfortable topic. If a patient's weight is putting their health at risk, it's a necessary conversation to be had.