Accuracy of weight status perception related to weight loss stage of change among medically underserved adults

Amir Alakaam, Davis Townsend, Jennifer Lemacks


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the individuals’ perception of their weight status andthe stage of change they are currently in among an overweight and obese, medically underserved population in south Mississippi.

Methods: One hundred eighty-two adults were surveyed at healthcare facilities in south Mississippi using a tablet application. Inclusion criteria were: BMI of 25 or greater, over 21 years of age, and not pre or postpartum. About 62% (n = 114) metthe inclusion criteria. Participants completed a survey pertaining to: weight perception, stage of change for weight loss, andother variables. Statistical analysis were used to analyze participant responses. Weight perception accuracy was determined bycomparing participant responses about weight status to their BMI classification.

Results: Weight perception accuracy was a significant predictor of stage of change for weight loss, after controlling forconfounding factors. A Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient analysis revealed that participants do not portray themselves astheir BMI classifies them (Pearson p = .46). Ordinal regression analysis displayed that those with a mismatched were likely to beat an advanced stage of change compared to those with matched weight perception accuracy and BMI.

Conclusions and implication: This study exemplifies that overweight and obese individuals who view themselves as overweightare more apt to be in active stage of change for weight loss. Weight management interventions should address weight perceptionsin overweight and obese individuals who are at a lower stage of change for weight loss.

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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