The findings come from a comparison of household surveys carried out in 1999 and 2007. This showed that the proportion of people classed as overweight or obese on BMI increased from 43 per cent to 53 per cent.
But whereas 81 per cent of those classed as overweight or obese recognised this in 1999, the figure fell to 75 per cent in 2007, it is reported on BMJ online.
The growing division between actual and perceived weight may be because being overweight is more common, and so carrying a few extra pounds is now seen as normal, say the researchers from University College London.
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