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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 45-51

Self-perception of body size among adults in Delta State, Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka; Department of Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Ejiroghene Martha Umuerri
Department of Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nnjcr.nnjcr_37_16

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Background: Obesity is a lifestyle disease with enormous public health challenges. Accurate self-perception of body size is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body size. Aim: The aim of this study is to describe self-perception of body size among adults in Delta State, Nigeria, and determine the level of misperception. Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional exploratory survey of apparently healthy adults living in Delta State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Data on demography, self-perception of body size, and means of assessing body size were reported and documented. Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were measured and body mass index (BMI) calculated. Actual body size was compared with self-perceived body size. Results: About 85% of the respondents reported normal/healthy self-perceived weight while <10% indicated that they were overweight or obese. One-third of respondents misperceived their weight, 24.8% underestimated, while 8.8% overestimated their self-perceived weight using BMI. Female respondents had a higher BMI than males (P < 0.001). Body size defined by BMI was significantly different from self-perceived weight (P < 0.001) with obese females and overweight males having a higher rate of misperception of weight. Urban respondents had a higher rate of misperception than their rural counterparts (P < 0.001). BMI and WC were identified as means of weight assessment in 7.6% and 0.0% of the respondents, respectively. Conclusion: The rate of misperception of weight among adults is high in Delta State, Nigeria, especially among those who were male, overweight, and urban dwellers. Lack of recognition of actual weight status may hinder public health initiatives to effectively deal with obesity.

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