Body image in 38 obese and normal weight subjects was measured using a video TV monitor. Tasks included a continuous task where subjects manipulated the size of their body image on a TV screen, and a discrete task, where they judged the accuracy of their TV image which was presented as either too heavy or too thin. Subjects viewed their images in both regular street clothes and with minimal clothing.
Results from the continuous task revealed that obese subjects overestimated body size. All subjects were more accurate on trials in which the initial image was adjusted in the heavier direction.
On the discrete task, a signal detection analysis revealed sensory sensitivity differences between obese and normal weight subjects. Obese subjects were better at detecting distortion caused by a too thin image, but were inferior in detecting a too heavy distortion. No significant differences were obtained in response criteria or between clothing conditions.