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You are Fatter Than You Think, Says Research

Update Date: Dec 24, 2012 06:01 AM EST

It may not be very good news during the festive season, especially for people who are very conscious and particular about their looks and figures, as a new study suggests that we are all fatter than we think we are.

The study further suggests that women are most likely to underestimate their size, with an average woman believing herself to be 5lb lighter than she actually is. Also, women in their 30s are apparently the most optimistic with a majority convinced that they weigh half a stone lesser than they really do.

The study, which included a survey of 9,000 people revealed that men underestimate their weight by a more modest 3lb.

Psychologists explain that this optimism is perhaps due to misguidance with people trying to convince themselves that they are not that far from the size they really want to be.

 "What is probably happening is that there is so much social pressure to be slim that everyone wants to be thinner. So a woman may weigh 150lb, but she thinks that if she puts on a nice black dress and screws her eyes up she is closer to 140lb. It's wishful thinking," Andrina McCormack, a chartered psychologist in Dundee, Scotland, was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

Oddly, this wishful thinking apparently extends to our children too, the report says.

The findings of the study revealed that about half of parents of obese children thought that their child was "about the right weight".

The people surveyed included some 8,600 adults and 2,000 children.

For the study, the participants were asked how much they thought they weighed before their weight was measured on the scale.

"This survey gives a brand new insight into how the average adult in England has a different idea of their weight compared to what the scales actually show. Women appear to misjudge their weight more than men - with women in their late 30s in particular underestimating their weight by nearly 8lb," Tim Straughan of the Health and Social Care Information Centre said, according to the report.

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