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Speak Out: Are We in 'Fat Denial'?

Do you have an accurate estimate of your body size? How do you make sure you have a healthy self image?

We often hear criticism of media portraying super slim people as the healthy and attractive ones. We might also hear compliments such as "you look fantastic" when it's contradictory to how you really feel about the body image reflected in the mirror. Do you ever wonder if you have an accurate estimate of your body size?

According to The New York Times health columnist Tara Parker-Pope, most Americans are in denial of their weight while the population gets fatter and fatter. Parker-Pope says recent studies in different parts of the world including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and European nations have shown consistent results that many people are in "fat denial" and have inaccurate self image.

She suggests that "personal embarrassment" and social perspective are possible explanations from scientists about why "fat denial" is happening. (Here's a chart you can use to help determine whether you have an accurate estimate of your body size.)

Do you think our nation is in "fat denial"? How do you make sure your child has an accurate and healthy self image? Speak out in the comments!

Angela Chao April 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Self-esteem is important for the well-being of both children and adults, it's true that we shouldn't look at unhealthy kind of "skinny" body types as attractive. But have we gone too far with our self-esteem boost to the point that we think overweight and obesity are okay?

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