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Attitude of the individual to his own body weight
  1. Margaret Ashwell,
  2. Lindsey Etchell
  1. Clinical Research Centre, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3UJ
  2. Consumers' Association, 14 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6DS


    A random height and weight survey in a London Borough showed that overweight people were most accurate in the assessment of their weight and underweight people were the least accurate. Overweight women were more aware of their size than overweight men.

    Overweight women had made more attempts to lose weight than overweight men. There were no significant differences between overweight women of different age or class groups. Men in social classes A and B were more likely than men in other groups to have tried to lose weight.

    These results show that the high prevalence of overweight associated with older and lower social class women cannot be explained by the fact that they are unaware of their size and only partly explained by the fact that they have not made attempts to lose weight.

    The results of a second survey conducted among Consumers' Association members showed that the weights considered as ideal by these people corresponded very well with the ideal weights given by life insurance tables.

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