Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

David Q. Thomas


Misperception of own BMI has been postulated as a factor contributing to the increasing prevalence rates of overweight and obesity. Objectives: To examine 1) perceptions university students had toward their own and others’ BMI, and 2) if Kinesiology majors could better assess others’ BMI classifications than non-Kinesiology majors. Methods: Data were collected from 567 (male, n = 144; female, n = 423) university students using a structured questionnaire. Measures consisted of height, weight, perception of own BMI, and visual perception of own and others’ BMI. Self-reported BMI was calculated from height and mass then classified per World Health Organization classifications. Percent agreement between self-reported BMI and perceived own BMI, and self-reported BMI and visually perceived own BMI were assessed using cross-tabulations. The difference in average of the total correct BMI classifications assigned to others’ BMI between Kinesiology and non-Kinesiology majors was assessed using an independent t-test. Results: In general, males were significantly heavier and taller than females (p < 0.001). Percent agreement between self-reported BMI and perceived own BMI was 71.5% for males and 74.2% for females. Percent agreement between self-reported BMI and visually perceived BMI was 60.4% and 55.8% for males and females, respectively. The Kinesiology average of 9.89 + 2.88 SD was not statistically different from the non-Kinesiology average of 9.21 + 3.09 SD (p = 0.618). Conclusions: Male and female university students were able to perceive their self-reported BMI with a reasonable degree of accuracy. University students accurately visually perceived lower (underweight, normal weight) and higher BMI classified (obese class I, obese class II, obese class III) pictorial images for both males and females, but were less accurate with normal and overweight BMI classifications for both males and females.


Imported from ProQuest Bahtic_ilstu_0092N_11208.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Kinesiology Commons