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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Telling people they are overweight: helpful, harmful or beside the point? (Editorial)
Author(s): Robinson, Eric
Sutin, Angelina
Daly, Michael
Haynes, Ashleigh
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Issue Date: Jul-2017
Citation: Robinson E, Sutin A, Daly M & Haynes A (2017) Telling people they are overweight: helpful, harmful or beside the point? (Editorial), International Journal of Obesity, 41 (8), pp. 1160-1161.
Abstract: First paragraph: Weight status misperception refers to when a person’s subjective perception of their own or another person’s objective weight status is incorrect. Parents of children with overweight and obesity often fail to identify their child as being ‘overweight’ and in a similar vein, a large number of adults, adolescents and children with overweight or obesity fail to recognise that they are overweight. These observations are not new and have long been presumed to be a concern; if people do not realise they are overweight, how will they change their behavior to lose weight? For example, the failure of parents to identify their children as overweight has recently been described as ‘promoting the silent rise’ of obesity and new research reported in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that healthcare professionals not notifying children and their families of their ‘unhealthy weight status’ is a missed opportunity to combat obesity . These sentiments are echoed in public health intervention approaches. One example is national weight measurement programmes that monitor child weight and notify parents if their child has an ‘unhealthy’ weight status. The presumption that ignorance is damaging in this context has face value and is supported by some cross-sectional evidence, as numerous studies have shown that individuals who fail to recognise they are overweight are less likely to be attempting weight loss. However the best prospective evidence to date suggests that ignorance may be bliss when it comes to overweight and obesity.
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