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Repeated Weight loss Messages Have No Effect On Couch Potatoes

physical activity and healthy eating habits," Yancey said. "We still need to learn more about the relationship between overweight self-perception and healthy lifestyle change, and the apparent protective role of the cultural valuation of thinness and stigmatization of obesity in the battle of the bulge." The study used data from the 2002–03 Los Angeles County Health Survey, a random telephone survey conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Of 14,154 eligible adults contacted, 8,167 completed interviews, or 58 percent. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from self-reported weight and height, and each individual was classified as underweight, normal, overweight or obese. Self-perceived weight status was measured using direct questions asking participants to identify themselves as overweight, underweight or average for their height. Sedentary behavior was measured using standardized questions from an adaptation of the short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire.

Among specific findings:

* The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adult Angelenos by race/ethnicity and gender was fairly typical of national samples. The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was highest in African Americans and Latinos, intermediate in whites, and lowest in Asians-Pacific Islanders. The pattern was consistent among both men and women within each group.

* 73.2 percent of overweight/non-obese and 24.1 percent of average-weight women considered themselves overweight, compared with 44.5 percent of overweight/ non-obese and 5.6 percent of average-weight men.

* 41.3 percent of overweight/non-obese African Americans identified themselves as overweight, compared with 60.6 percent of overweight/non-obese whites.

* Overweight self-perception, versus average-weight self-perception, correlated with sedentary behavior among average-weight adults (45.3 percent versus 33.0
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