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

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

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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.
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 which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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.

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