Body weight misperception among Malaysian adults in rural area



 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Kebangsaan  Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Introduction: Distorted perceptions of body weight pose negative influences on weight management and predispose subjects to the development of eating disorders and their complications. This study describes the prevalence of misperception of body weight, and its influencing factors. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study among 225 Malaysian adults in rural area was conducted from June to August 2010. Structured self-administered survey questionnaire were used to examine misperception of body weight and the influencing factors such as socioeconomic factors, family factors, Body Mass Index (BMI) and lifestyle. Results: Respondents were mainly more than 45 years old (47.1%), Malay (86.2 %) and employed (45.8%). Findings showed that 52.5% of respondents had incorrect perceptions of their body weight. Result implies that in rural area, underestimation, rather than overestimation, of weight status is more prevalent among respondents above 45 years old and overweight or obese. Conclusion: Body weight awareness and promotional campaigns should be strategised and catered according to target groups. Public health authorities and health care professionals need to be given access to correct information pertaining to our society’s nutritional status and weight management.  


Keywords: Body mass index, obesity, misconception, misperception, knowledge


Correspondence author: Norfazilah AHMAD Department of Community Health, Faculty of  Medicine, University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yaakob Latif, 56000 Cheras,  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: +603-91455904/+6013-3551610  E mail:



Brunei Int Med J. 2015; 11 (3): 147-154