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Mismatch between perceived and actual overweight in diabetic and non-diabetic populations: a comparative study of South Asian and European women
  1. S Patela,b,
  2. R Bhopala,
  3. N Unwina,b,
  4. M Whitea,
  5. Sir K G M M Albertia,b,
  6. J Yallopb
  1. aDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Newcastle, bHuman Diabetes and Metabolism Research Centre, University of Newcastle
  1. Miss Patel, Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle, Medical School, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK (Sheila.Patel{at}

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Diabetes is more common in South Asian (defined here as Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin) populations compared with Europeans. This may be related to their greater abdominal obesity.1Weight loss and maintenance are crucial in the prevention of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and motivation to loose weight is likely to be greater in those who perceive themselves as being overweight. We compared self perception of body weight using data on South Asian and European women (data unavailable for European men) from a population based study in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.2


Age stratified random samples of South Asian and European women aged 25–74 were taken from the Family Health Service Authority register. Altogether 589 South Asian and 682 European women were contacted. From these 371 South Asian and 399 European women were screened giving a response rate of 63.0% and 58.5% respectively. Of these, 319 South Asian and 382 European women had a standard World Health Organisation (WHO) oral glucose tolerance test. Prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and diabetes were based …

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  • Funding: this study was supported by grants from the Barclay Trust, British Diabetic Association, Newcastle Health Authority and the Department of Health.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.