Association of Weight Misperception with Unhealthy Diet-related Behaviors among University of the Philippines Manila Undergraduate Students

  • Migel Antonio P. Catalig
  • Novee Lor C. Leyso
  • Venju P. Estrellado
  • Paul Adrian V. Pinlac
  • Kim L. Cochon
Keywords: dietary habits, body mass index, weight perception, unhealthy eating practices, physical activity, weight management


Objectives. The study aims to determine whether there is an association of perceived weight status with unhealthy
diet practices.

Method. An analytic cross-sectional study was conducted among 625 adult undergraduate students from U.P.
Manila. The survey included questions regarding sociodemographic status, habits related to diet and weight
management, and perceived body mass index (BMI). Actual BMI were obtained and calculated from actual
anthropomorphic measurements.

Results. In the population surveyed, it was seen that 53.28% of the students accurately perceived their BMI
status, 26.08% overestimated their BMI status, while 17.28% underestimated their BMI status. It was also seen
that over-estimating of BMI status is more associated with unhealthy diet practices. Those who over estimated
their BMI were 1.95 times more likely to skip meals (p=0.001) and 1.56 times more likely to engage in cutting
of food (p=0.034). Physical activity was also seen to be associated with these practices.

Conclusion. Over-estimation of BMI may be linked to unrealistic goals in weight loss resulting in unhealthier
diet-related habits.


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