From the department of obvious research, an unscientific online poll by the Guardian finds that men are four times more likely than women to underestimate how overweight they are.
More than 300,000 people fed their height and weight into a Guardian interactive project since its launch last month, and each was asked in advance which category they would fall into – underweight, healthy, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.
Almost one in four men (23%) who participated guessed their weight range was at least one category less than it was in reality – meaning men who guessed they were in the healthy weight range were in fact overweight (or heavier), for example.
The findings, which come from a very large sample (but not a scientifically selected one), suggest millions of men may be unaware they are overweight, and thus of the consequent health risks they are taking: in the UK, 68% of men and 58% of women are overweight or obese.
By contrast, women were if anything possibly too self-conscious about their weight. Only 8% under-estimated which category they fell into, while 27% thought they weighed more than they did – versus just 12% of men.
The upshot is that the men who are unaware or in denial about their weight may also be unaware of the health risks associated with their weight, which prevents them from seeking a healthier lifestyle. By the way, if you participate in the poll, weight is only given in kilograms or stone, so you'll need to calculate pounds. Link