A Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey of 2,418 adults found that 70% of obese Americans thought they were merely overweight, while 30% of those who were overweight saw their size as “normal.”

In the survey, participants were asked for their height and weight and asked to estimate which Body Mass Index category they fell into. This allowed the pollsters to calculate their BMI and find out whether the respondents perceptions of their size were in line with their actual size.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34% of adults  are obese, and 34% are overweight. Among children, 18% of teens aged 12 to 19 are obese, and 20% of children aged 6 to 11 are obese, as are 10% of kids aged 2 to 5. That’s pretty scary when you consider the huge impact this may have on future generations.

This skewed perception could be part of where our country’s weight problem lies. When you think about it, if you grow up around lots of overweight people, you may see that body type as normal and not recognize the health risks that come with being overweight or obese.

Personally, I think this is a good illustration of why it’s more important to focus on being the best version of yourself rather than striving to be similar to others or basing your sense of self on what you see around you. Granted, we all compare ourselves to others on some level, but when it comes to our health, we are each individuals who have different needs. Knowing our healthy weight range can help us ward off future problems.

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