Individuals who misperceive their body size are at risk for eating disorders, unhealthy weight control practices, and obesity-related diseases. This study assessed the prevalence and demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates of agreement between perceived (self-reported) and actual (measured) body mass index categories in a sample of Mexican college applicants aged 18-20 years (N=3622; 52% female). Under two thirds (63.1%) accurately reported their weight status categories. Reporting accuracy was lower among overweight and obese participants. In multivariate analyses, overestimating was associated with female gender, younger age, lower level of parent education, and more hours of daily TV viewing; underestimating was associated with male gender and older age. In within-gender analyses, overestimating was associated with hours of TV among men and underestimating was positively associated with depressive symptoms among women. This study adds to a growing international literature on body weight status misperception among adolescents and young adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalBody Image
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Body mass index
  • Body weight status misperception
  • Mexico
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology


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