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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(10), 2696-2711; doi:10.3390/ijerph6102696

Validity of Self-Reported Weight and Height of Adolescents, Its Impact on Classification into BMI-Categories and the Association with Weighing Behaviour

1
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, 2 blok A, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Research Foundation–Flanders, Egmontstraat 5, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
3
Centre for Pupils Counselling (CLB), Flemish Community Education, Jan Verspeyenstraat 3, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
Department of Health Sciences, Vesalius, Hogeschool Gent, Keramiekstraat 80, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 September 2009 / Accepted: 3 October 2009 / Published: 20 October 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: height; weight; body mass index; validity; adolescents; weighing behaviour height; weight; body mass index; validity; adolescents; weighing behaviour
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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