Body Mass Index and Body Size Perception

A Normalizing of Overweight and Obesity among Diverse College Students

  • Paul Ratanasiripong Department of Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling
  • Heidi Burkey Health Resource Center, California State University, Long Beach


The present study investigated actual body size as measured by the Body Mass Index in comparison to self-reported body size among diverse college student population. The study was conducted at a large public university in the western United States. Of the random sample of 15,000 enrolled students selected to receive an electronic survey, a total of 1,798 students elected to participate. Normalizing of overweight and obesity was found among study participants. The results from this survey indicate that, despite the fact that the majority of participants engaged in weight management methods, all gender and ethnic groups underreported instances of overweight and obesity, as well as discrepancies between perceived body image and actual body size. Implications for health promotion and future research are highlighted.

How to Cite
Ratanasiripong, P., & Burkey, H. (2011). Body Mass Index and Body Size Perception: A Normalizing of Overweight and Obesity among Diverse College Students. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 9(1), 18-24.