Ads for diet pills, new-millennium girdles, low-fat everything, and home workout DVDs are marketed to the female demographic all day. If you watch the American average of 3.5 hours of television per day, you might come to the conclusion that women obsess over every single pound they gain or lose.

On the contrary, a new study claims women are so not concerned with weight, that they don’t even notice when they gain weight.

According to research published in this month’s Journal of Women’s Health, they found that nearly a third of the women didn’t notice that they’d gained roughly 4.5 pounds over a six-month period. That seems believable, especially since 5 pounds doesn’t always look like much, depending on your body type. The study also found that a quarter of the women didn’t notice that they’d put on nine pounds during a six-month period. That does seem harder to miss, since it could affect the clothing size you wear, but it’s obviously possible. Maybe those women just had more pressing concerns than obsessively watching their waistline? Can you even imagine?

One part of this study that was particularly interesting, according to researchers, black women were more likely to notice they had gained weight along with women who used DMPA, a long acting reversible hormonal contraceptive birth control drug that is injected every 3 months.

This news deepens the research done of the psyches of black women, especially when it’s coupled with the comprehensive report published by The Washington Post, which shows that black women have higher self-esteems than their white counterparts even though they were heavier and suffer from food-related dis-eases at a much higher rate.

These findings concern researchers because if people don’t realize they are overweight they won’t make an effort to lose weight. These findings also have implications for the wider obesity epidemic, because doctors should not assume that their overweight or obese patients are aware of their weight gains (or even their absolute weight).

Do you notice when you gain a few pounds? What’s your tell-tale sign?

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