Not many fat people seem to be aware that they are indeed fat say doctors, adding that most of their obese patients did not think that they were fat enough to be in trouble.
According to experts, misperception of weight was becoming a major barrier to weight loss - a serious problem in India which had seen a near 20 per cent rise in overweight population rates between 1998 and 2005.
A University of Illinois study by researchers who surveyed more than 3,500 college applicants found that over a third could not report their weight accurately and overweight and obese men were more likely to underestimate their weight than women.
In physical exams, the height, weight and body mass index (BMI) of 3,622 18- to 20-year-old applicants to the Mexican University were recorded wherein only 33.6 per cent were found to be overweight or obese, but only 16.9 per cent described themselves as being in those categories.
Women seemed to judge their weight better than men, with the gap between the former's perception and reality on their weight being smaller -- 27.8 per cent of women were actually overweight or obese, as against only 21.2 per cent that believed that they were.
According to Margarita Teran-Garcia, professor of food science at the Univesidad Autonoma de San Luis Potos in Mexico, the misperception was important because the first step in dealing with a weight problem was knowing that you had one.