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Worrying About Weight
Story Updated: Aug 17, 2012
..can it become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Yes... according to a new study in the Journal of Obesity.
Researchers in Norway used data from nearly 12-hundred teenagers, both male and female, gathered from 1995 to 1997. All were normal weight at the time, but were asked if they considered themselves very fat, chubby, about the same as others, thin or very thin.
The same group was contacted again 11 years later when they were 24-30 years of age.
Half of the participants still had normal weights. but among those who were overweight, the researchers found significant differences.
59-percent of the girls who had felt fat as a teen became overweight in adulthood, as measured using body mass index, or BMI.
If waist circumference was used as the measure instead, then the percentage of teens who initially perceived themselves as heavy and later became overweight was 78 percent!
In contrast, 31 percent of the girls who did not consider themselves fat during adolescence were found in the follow-up to be overweight as measured using BMI. That number was 55 per cent as measured by waist circumference.
Another interesting finding: normal weight girls were more likely than boys to rate themselves as overweight: 22 percent of girls and nine percent of the boys saw themselves as fat or chubby in the first survey.
Bottom line, researchers hope this study shines a light on keeping a level head on a healthy body image....while taking into account natural differences in body type.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.