London: A quarter of obese women don`t think they have a weight problem at all, a study shows.
Young mothers are particularly at risk of obesity, but fail to recognise they are still carrying the pounds put on during pregnancy, US researchers say.
However, this encourages denial of health-related problems caused by obesity such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases, reports the journal Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The University of Texas study also found that one in six normal weight women `misperceives` their body shape, and think they are fat, according to a daily.
Mahbubur Rahman, study co-author, said: `As obesity numbers climb, many women identify overweight as normal.`
More than 2,000 women aged 18 to 25 years were asked questions about their weight and perceptions about their size.
Half of them were considered overweight or obese based on their body mass index, a scoring system which compares weight to height.
Around 25 percent of overweight women `misperceived` their body weight, saying they were underweight or normal. They were significantly less likely than other women to act healthily.
David Haslam, chairman of the UK`s National Obesity Forum, said: `Everyone is getting bigger together. But this doesn`t mean you are at a healthy weight.`