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Open AccessArticle

Self-Reported vs. Measured Height, Weight, and BMI in Young Adults

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, Department of Animal & Nutritional Sciences, Agricultural Science Building, G025, West Virginia University, 333 Evansdale Dr., Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Clinical & Translational Science, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, 1 Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Business Analytics and Statistics, University of Tennessee, 916 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996-0532, USA
Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110370, 359 FSHN Bldg., 572 Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA
Nutritional Sciences Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee, 1215 W Cumberland Ave, 229 Jesse Harris Building, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2216;
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Adolescents and Children Health Research)
Self-reported height and weight, if accurate, provide a simple and economical method to track changes in body weight over time. Literature suggests adults tend to under-report their own weight and that the gap between self-reported weight and actual weight increases with obesity. This study investigates the extent of discrepancy in self-reported height, weight, and subsequent Body Mass Index (BMI) versus actual measurements in young adults. Physically measured and self-reported height and weight were taken from 1562 students. Male students marginally overestimated height, while females were closer to target. Males, on average, closely self-reported weight. Self-reported anthropometrics remained statistically correlated to actual measures in both sexes. Categorical variables of calculated BMI from both self-reported and actual height and weight resulted in significant agreement for both sexes. Researcher measured BMI (via anthropometric height and weight) and sex were both found to have association with self-reported weight while only sex was related to height difference. Regression examining weight difference and BMI was significant, specifically with a negative slope indicating increased BMI led to increased underestimation of weight in both sexes. This study suggests self-reported anthropometric measurements in young adults can be used to calculate BMI for weight classification purposes. Further investigation is needed to better assess self-reported vs measured height and weight discrepancies across populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-report; anthropometrics; height; weight; young adults; BMI self-report; anthropometrics; height; weight; young adults; BMI
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Olfert, M.D.; Barr, M.L.; Charlier, C.M.; Famodu, O.A.; Zhou, W.; Mathews, A.E.; Byrd-Bredbenner, C.; Colby, S.E. Self-Reported vs. Measured Height, Weight, and BMI in Young Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2216.

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