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Women underestimate weight by five pounds

Women in England think they weigh around five pounds less than they actually do, new research shows.

Health Survey for England 2011 found, on average, women think they weigh 10st 11lbs (68.7kg) when their actual weight is 11st 3lbs (71kgs).

The gap between perception and reality was widest among women aged 35 to 39 years old - who underestimated their weight by nearly 8lb (3.6kg) on average.

The survey of 8,610 adults also found men underestimated their weight by around three pounds. On average, their perceived weight was 13st (82.5kgs), when they actually weighed 13st 3lbs (83.9kgs).

Furthermore, four out of five parents of 'overweight' children polled thought their child “was about the right weight”. And almost half (47%) of those parents of children classed as 'obese' considered their child to be “about the right weight”.

“This survey gives a brand new insight into how the average adult in England has a different idea of their weight compared to what the scales actually show,” said Tim Straughan, chief executive of the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

“Women appear to misjudge their weight more than men - with women in their late thirties in particular.”