Master of Science
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Objectives: Overweight adolescents frequently fail to recognize that they are overweight. This project examines the magnitude of weight status underestimation among overweight adolescents and identifies predictors of this underestimation.
Methods: Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2001-2010) were used. Overweight adolescents (N=11,452) reporting they were underweight or about right were classified as underestimating their weight. The time trend in underestimation and effects of individual-level characteristics on underestimation were examined using logistic regression. Multilevel analysis examined the effect of weight status of community-based reference groups.
Results: For every 5 overweight male adolescents, 3 underestimated their weight; 2 of 5 overweight females underestimated. Exposure to overweight explained some of the variation in underestimation across communities among females.
Conclusions: Weight status underestimation is a significant problem among overweight adolescents. Understanding how adolescents perceive their weight is an important and novel concept in maximizing the effectiveness of current approaches to adolescent obesity.
Kuenzig, Mary Ellen, "Weight Status Underestimation among Canadian Adolescents: An Important and Frequently Overlooked Aspect of the Childhood Obesity Epidemic" (2012). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 680.