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Diabetics Misguided on 'Healthy' Weight

Two-thirds of obese diabetics call overweight 'ideal' for health, study found

MONDAY, March 20, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans with diabetes are mistaken in their belief about a "healthy" body weight, a new study shows, with nearly half thinking that being overweight is still within a healthy range.

"These findings are concerning given the importance of body weight in managing diabetes," study first author Dr. Kathleen McTigue, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a prepared statement.

She said getting these patients to understand weight-related health risks could help them set healthy lifestyle goals and achieve effective weight management.

McTigue and her colleagues surveyed close to 2,500 diabetic patients and found that many had incorrect ideas about healthy body weight.

"Among respondents, 41 percent reported a 'healthiest' weight for their height that actually measured in the overweight body mass index (BMI) range," she said, "and 6 percent reported a 'healthiest' weight that was obese."

Among obese respondents, 66 percent identified an overweight or obese body weight as ideal for health, while 41 percent of overweight patients selected a higher-than-optimal weight as healthy. Only 4 percent of normal-weight patients overestimated healthy body weight.

Women were more likely than men to correctly identify a health body weight.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more about diabetes and weight.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, news release, March 13, 2006
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