Many obese people don’t see themselves as fat and in fact, they think they’re healthy – or so says a new study.
Talk about being a “glass is half full” type of person. I wish I was like that!
The problem is this positive attitude doesn’t dispel the fact that obese people are at a heightened risk of death, i.e. heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, etc.Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists gauged body awareness of 2,056 men and women already participating in a study, surveying the individuals on their body perception.
Researchers asked participants to look at pictures and choose their ideal body size. People who picked figures that were the same or larger than their actual body size were classified as “misperceiving” their body size, but these people were also more likely to be happier.
However, worry warts who acknowledge they’re fat and out of shape tend to be less happy. I’m willing to guess that only exacerbates the problem. For you Shaun of the Dead fans, that means “to make things worse.”
Important factors were considered. Scientists found people with higher incomes and better education were no more likely to perceive their body weight accurately, than less educated people, or those with lower incomes.
And here’s the problem with that. Those who misperceived their size, saw their health risks as the same as people who more accurately identified their body size; which is a problem. Obese people are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and the list goes on and on.
All this reminds me of the scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral – no I don’t like girly movies, I saw it in a film class in college – where the overweight, smoking, drinking, jovial guy drops dead from a heart attack after boozing, eating, and dancing at the wedding reception.
I think this is a personality thing. If you’re happy go lucky and have a fun social network, you spend less time being introspective and worrying about all the nitty-gritty. I’m a miserable, cynical, depressed mess, so I spend a ton of time worrying about my health, but one of my happier and – as coincidence may have it – overweight friends enjoys life more and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Well, the not so small stuff.
Image credit: The Sneeze