Self-perceptions of body size in women at an inner-city family-planning clinic

Sushma Potti, Marina Milli, Stacey Jeronis, John P. Gaughan, Marisa Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and body size perception among female patients in an inner-city family-planning clinic. Study Design: All participants (n = 81) were measured for height and weight and completed an anonymous survey. Self-perceived, current, and ideal body sizes were determined by using a standardized scale. Body image discrepancy was calculated by the difference between body image perception and measured BMI. Results: Approximately two-thirds of the participants were obese or overweight. As measured BMI increased, the body image discrepancy increased, with significant differences in body perception in both obese (P < .001) and overweight (P < .001) women. Ideal body size increased with measured BMI. Conclusion: Overweight and obese women in an inner-city clinic are likely to underestimate their body size. Our data support the need for culturally sensitive education for this population, because many do not view themselves at risk for complications related to excessive weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e65-e68
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • body mass index
  • body size
  • obesity
  • self-perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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