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Self-reported Health Predicts Hispanic Women’s Weight Perceptions and Concerns

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In this study, we examined how self-reported health is related to low-income, Hispanic women’s underestimation and concerns of weight status.


Seventy Hispanic women from Houston-area community centers reported their perceptions and concerns about their weight and health. Height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index. Cross-tabulations and Cohen’s kappa determined agreement between women’s perception of their weight status and measured weight status. Covariate-adjusted OLS regression models analyzed the association between women’s self-reported health as a predictor of weight underestimation and concerns about becoming overweight.


Forty-three percent of women misperceived their weight status [37% (N = 26) underestimated; 6% (N = 4) overestimated]. Overweight and obese women who reported their health as poor had 84% lower odds of underestimating their weight. Women who reported their health as poor health had 52% lower odds of being concerned about becoming overweight.


Self-reported poor health predicts perceptions of weight and concerns about future weight gain among low-income Hispanic women. Assessing patients’ self-reported health status will allow practitioners to identify who may be at risk for underestimating their weight and being unconcerned about becoming overweight. This knowledge may help practitioners identify patients who would benefit from health education.
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Keywords: Hispanic health; Mexican-American women; body mass index; obesity; self-assessed health; women’s health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2018

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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