Abstract: This paper investigated the validity of self-reported height and weight of adolescents for the diagnosis of underweight, overweight and obesity and the influence of weighing behaviour on the accuracy. A total of 982 adolescents reported their height, weight, weighing behaviour and eating patterns in a questionnaire. Afterwards, their height and weight were measured and their Body Mass Index (BMI)-categories were determined using age- and gender-specific BMI cut-off points. Both girls and boys underreported their weight, whilst height was overestimated by girls and underestimated by boys. Cohen’s d indicated that these misreportings were in fact trivial. The prevalence of underweight was overestimated when using the self-reported BMI for classification, whilst the prevalence of overweight and obesity was underestimated. Gender and educational level influenced the accuracy of the adolescents’ self-reported BMI. Weighing behaviour only positively influenced the accuracy of the self-reported weight and not height or BMI. In summary, adolescents’ self-reported weight and height cannot replace measured values to determine their BMI-category, and thus the latter are highly recommended when investigating underweight, overweight and obesity in adolescents.
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De Vriendt, T.; Huybrechts, I.; Ottevaere, C.; Van Trimpont, I.; De Henauw, S. Validity of Self-Reported Weight and Height of Adolescents, Its Impact on Classification into BMI-Categories and the Association with Weighing Behaviour. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2696-2711.
De Vriendt T, Huybrechts I, Ottevaere C, Van Trimpont I, De Henauw S. Validity of Self-Reported Weight and Height of Adolescents, Its Impact on Classification into BMI-Categories and the Association with Weighing Behaviour. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009; 6(10):2696-2711.
De Vriendt, Tineke; Huybrechts, Inge; Ottevaere, Charlene; Van Trimpont, Inge; De Henauw, Stefaan. 2009. "Validity of Self-Reported Weight and Height of Adolescents, Its Impact on Classification into BMI-Categories and the Association with Weighing Behaviour." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 6, no. 10: 2696-2711.