Weight status and weight perception have a significant impact on life satisfaction. As overweight prevalence increases in Canada, it is important to understand how accuracy of weight perception (AWP) is associated with life satisfaction. This study explored the association between AWP and life satisfaction among Canadian adults with and without anxiety and/or mood disorders.
Using data from the 2015–2018 cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey, an indicator of AWP was created to capture concordance between perceived weight and actual weight status. Univariate and multivariate Gaussian generalized linear models were assessed while stratifying by sex and presence of anxiety and/or mood disorders.
Our sample included 88 814 males and 106 717 females. For both sexes, perceiving oneself as overweight or underweight, regardless of actual weight status, was associated with lower life satisfaction (β = −0.93 to −0.30), compared to those who accurately perceived their weight as ‘just about right’. Perceiving oneself as overweight or underweight was associated with more pronounced differences in life satisfaction scores in those with anxiety and/or mood disorders (β = −1.49 to −0.26) than in those without these disorders (β = −0.76 to −0.25).
Weight perception is more indicative of life satisfaction than actual weight status, especially in those with anxiety and/or mood disorders.