Your Healthiest Weight: View Skewed?
Overweight people with diabetes may overestimate their healthiest weight
March 14, 2006 -- If someone asked you to name your healthiest weight, what
would you say?
If you have diabetes and are overweight, you might give yourself too much
leeway, according to a study in Diabetes Care.
The study comes from the University of Pittsburgh's Kathleen McTigue, MD,
MS, MPH, and colleagues. They mailed surveys to nearly 2,600 diabetes patients;
completed surveys came back from nearly a quarter of the group.
The surveys gauged participants' general knowledge about diabetes, height,
weight, and self-defined 'healthiest weight' for their height. The bottom line:
Many of the participants with extra pounds overestimated their healthiest
Missing the Mark
About half of the participants were obese, according to their body mass
BMI is based on weight and height. BMIs are classified as underweight,
normal, overweight, or obese.
Nearly four in 10 participants (41%) named a 'healthiest weight' that
actually put them in the overweight BMI range. Few (6%) named a number in the
obese BMI range. Only one person named a weight that was in the underweight
It's not that heavy participants were blind to their size. Most knew they
were overweight, judging by the 'healthiest weights' they chose. They just
didn't all know where to draw the line between normal and overweight.
Heavier patients and men were more likely to overestimate their ideal
weight, the study shows.
"For example, 66% of obese participants, 41% of overweight participants,
and 4% of those with normal BMI identified overweight or obese measurements as
ideal for health," the study states.
Good general knowledge about diabetes and length of time since diagnosis
didn't affect the results.
Many people didn't return the surveys, and the results might not apply to
everyone with diabetes, the researchers note. Even so, people with diabetes may
need more counseling about body size, write McTigue and colleagues.