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Measuring the accuracy of self-reported height and weight in a community-based sample of young people

Bowring, Anna L., Peeters, Anna, Freak-Poli, Rosanne, Lim, Megan S. C., Gouillou, Maelenn and Hellard, Margaret 2012, Measuring the accuracy of self-reported height and weight in a community-based sample of young people, BMC medical research methodology, vol. 12, Article number: 175, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-12-175.

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Title Measuring the accuracy of self-reported height and weight in a community-based sample of young people
Author(s) Bowring, Anna L.
Peeters, AnnaORCID iD for Peeters, Anna orcid.org/0000-0003-4340-9132
Freak-Poli, Rosanne
Lim, Megan S. C.
Gouillou, Maelenn
Hellard, Margaret
Journal name BMC medical research methodology
Volume number 12
Season Article number: 175
Start page 1
End page 8
Total pages 8
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1471-2288
Keyword(s) Adolescent
Adult
Anthropometry
Australia
Body Height
Body Weight
Female
Humans
Male
Obesity
Prevalence
Reproducibility of Results
Residence Characteristics
Self Report
Surveys and Questionnaires
Young Adult
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Health Care Sciences & Services
Body mass index
Overweight
Obesity self-report
Validity
Young people
Summary BACKGROUND: Self-reported anthropometric data are commonly used to estimate prevalence of obesity in population and community-based studies. We aim to: 1) Determine whether survey participants are able and willing to self-report height and weight; 2) Assess the accuracy of self-reported compared to measured anthropometric data in a community-based sample of young people.

METHODS: Participants (16-29 years) of a behaviour survey, recruited at a Melbourne music festival (January 2011), were asked to self-report height and weight; researchers independently weighed and measured a sub-sample. Body Mass Index was calculated and overweight/obesity classified as ≥25 kg/m². Differences between measured and self-reported values were assessed using paired t-test/Wilcoxon signed ranks test. Accurate report of height and weight were defined as <2 cm and <2 kg difference between self-report and measured values, respectively. Agreement between classification of overweight/obesity by self-report and measured values was assessed using McNemar's test.

RESULTS: Of 1405 survey participants, 82% of males and 72% of females self-reported their height and weight. Among 67 participants who were also independently measured, self-reported height and weight were significantly less than measured height (p=0.01) and weight (p<0.01) among females, but no differences were detected among males. Overall, 52% accurately self-reported height, 30% under-reported, and 18% over-reported; 34% accurately self-reported weight, 52% under-reported and 13% over-reported. More females (70%) than males (35%) under-reported weight (p=0.01). Prevalence of overweight/obesity was 33% based on self-report data and 39% based on measured data (p=0.16).

CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported measurements may underestimate weight but accurately identified overweight/obesity in the majority of this sample of young people.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1471-2288-12-175
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Bowring et al.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081148

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.