The 2011 Ohio Health Issues Poll (OHIP) has found that 1 in 4 Ohio adults are obese, up from 22 percent in 2000.
OHIP, conducted annually by The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, identifies what residents think about health issues that affect communities, the state and the nation.
Research has shown that as obesity rates increase in a community, people think that a heavier weight is actually normal. If adults do not think they are overweight, they are not likely to work on losing weight.
To understand Ohio adults' perceptions of their weight, OHIP asked people their actual weight and height, as well as their perception of their weight status (overweight, underweight or about right). They found that 4 of 10 Ohio residents (40 percent) thought they were overweight. But when respondents' BMI was calculated, 6 of 10 residents (62 percent) were found to be overweight or obese.
In general as BMI increases, more Ohio adults think they are overweight, but more than 1 in 10 obese adults think their weight is normal (12 percent).
Health care providers are among many people in the community who could change people's perception of their obesity status. In the past 12 months, only 4 of 10 people (40 percent) whose BMI puts them in the obese category were told to lose weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), being overweight or obese increases a person's risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
More information is available online at http://www.healthfoundation.org/data_publications/ohip.html.