This study aimed to identify associations among self-perceived weight status, accuracy of weight perceptions, and weight control behaviors, including both healthy and unhealthy behaviors, in a large, nationally representative sample from an East Asian country. Data were collected from the 2016 Korean Study of Women’s Health Related Issues, a population-based, nationwide survey. Accurate weight perceptions were investigated by comparing body mass index (BMI) categories, based on self-reported height and weight, and weight perceptions. Weight control behaviors over the previous 12 months were additionally surveyed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are presented as an index of associations. Among normal weight, overweight, and obese women, 12.8%, 44.3%, and 17.4% under-assessed their weight; 17.9% of normal weight women over-assessed their weight. Both weight status according to BMI category and weight perceptions were strongly associated with having tried to lose weight. Exercise and diet (ate less) were the most commonly applied weight control behaviors. Misperception of weight was related to more unhealthy weight control behaviors and less healthy behaviors: Women who under-assessed their weight showed a lower tendency to engage in dieting (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.43–0.75) and a greater tendency to fast/skip meals (OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.07–1.99). Meanwhile, normal weight or overweight women who over-assessed their weight were more likely to have engaged in fasting/skipping meals or using diet pills (OR = 5.72, 95% CI = 2.45–13.56 for fasting/skipping meal in overweight women; OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.15–2.29 and OR = 3.16, 95% CI = 1.15–8.23 for using diet pills in normal and overweight women). Inaccuracy of weight perceptions in any direction (over/under) were related to more unhealthy weight control behaviors and less healthy weight control behaviors, especially in normal and overweight women.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study received funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Korea (2015ER630300), and a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research and Control from the National Cancer Center of Korea (#1910231-1).
© 2019, The Author(s).
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