In Denial? Study Says Women are Slow to Notice Weight Gain

January 11, 2012  |  

You know the scenario: You have your mind set on the dress you’re going to wear for a certain event but when you go to pull the dress out of the closet and try it on it doesn’t quite fit like it used to. We’ve all been there, and a new study says it’s pretty common for women not to realize they’ve gained some weight.

In the study in the Journal of Women’s Health, one-third of women didn’t recognize gaining 4.5 pounds over a six-month period, while another fourth failed to realize they’d gained 8.8 pounds in that time. The good news is black women, who made up 29% of the 466 women in the study were a little more likely to notice they’d packed on a few pounds; so were women on the birth control shot DPMA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate).

“In prior studies, we’ve reported that one-quarter of reproductive-age women who are overweight or obese consider themselves to be normal weight,” says  lead author Dr. Mahbubur Rahman, of the University of Texas Medical Branch. “Misperception of actual weight coupled with inaccuracies in self-perception of weight gain is a threat to the success of obesity prevention programs. Changing a health behavior depends on patients understanding susceptibility to a health problem.”

To make sure you stay on top of things, Dr. Rahman recommends women weigh themselves regularly so they recognize significant changes. Most health experts suggest weighing in once a week.

Are you usually the last person to realize you’ve gained a little weight like the women in the study or are you on it the minute you gain a pound?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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