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Comparison of self-reported and measured height and weight: Implications for obesity research among young adults

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  • Danubio, Maria Enrica
  • Miranda, Gaetano
  • Vinciguerra, Maria Giulia
  • Vecchi, Elvira
  • Rufo, Fabrizio

Abstract

Background The use of self-reported data in epidemiological surveys leads to misclassification of the prevalence of obesity as the participants overestimate or underestimate height, weight and/or both. Such misclassifications vary according to gender, age, status and ethnicity.Objectives To estimate on a sample of youth of both sexes (1) the difference between self-reported data and measured height and weight and (2) the extent of misclassification of BMI deriving from such differences.Methods Self-reporting in questionnaires and subsequent measurements of height and weight conducted by trained personnel. The mean values and the BMIs were calculated.Results Both sexes overestimate height (2.1 and 2.8Â cm for males and females, respectively), and underestimate weight (1.5 and 1.9Â kg for males and females, respectively). Consequently the BMI is underestimated (1.1 and 1.5 points for males and females, respectively). The classification of BMI from self-reported data shows underestimation of overweight in both sexes (8 percentage points) and of obese males (3.3 percentage points), an overestimation of normal weight (12.2 and 4.3 percentage points for males and females, respectively) and an excessive underweight in the girls (4.3 percentage points).Conclusions There is a difference between self-reported and measured data and self-reported biases are reflected in the classification of the participants in the 4 categories of BMI.

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  • Danubio, Maria Enrica & Miranda, Gaetano & Vinciguerra, Maria Giulia & Vecchi, Elvira & Rufo, Fabrizio, 2008. "Comparison of self-reported and measured height and weight: Implications for obesity research among young adults," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 181-190, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:6:y:2008:i:1:p:181-190
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    1. Ossiander, Eric M. & Emanuel, Irvin & O'Brien, William & Malone, Kathleen, 2004. "Driver's licenses as a source of data on height and weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 219-227, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamrick, Karen S., 2012. "Nonresponse Bias Analysis of Body Mass Index Data in the Eating and Health Module," Technical Bulletins 131556, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Kitae Sohn, 2014. "Job Strenuousness and Obesity: The Case of a Developing Country," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(9), pages 1289-1301, September.
    3. Barone, Adriana & Barra, Cristian, 2019. "Weight status and mental health in Italy: Evidence from EHIS2 microdata," MPRA Paper 96703, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Gil, Joan & Mora, Toni, 2011. "The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 78-91, January.
    5. Euna Han & Lisa M. Powell, 2013. "Fast Food Prices And Adult Body Weight Outcomes: Evidence Based On Longitudinal Quantile Regression Models," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 528-536, July.
    6. Barone, Adriana & O'Higgins, Niall, 2010. "Fat and out in Salerno and its province: Adolescent obesity and early school leaving in Southern Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 44-57, March.
    7. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
    8. Peracchi, Franco & Arcaleni, Emilia, 2011. "Early-life environment, height and BMI of young men in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 251-264, July.
    9. García Villar, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2009. "Income and body mass index in Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 73-83, March.
    10. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The value of male height in the marriage market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 110-124.
    11. Kitae Sohn, 2016. "Height and Happiness in a Developing Country," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-23, February.
    12. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:33:y:2019:i:c:p:201-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ulijaszek, Stanley & Schwekendiek, Daniel, 2013. "Intercontinental differences in overweight of adopted Koreans in the United States and Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 345-350.
    14. Jaume García Villar & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2011. "Physical Activity and Obesity in Spain: Evidence from the Spanish National Health Survey," Chapters, in: Plácido Rodríguez & Stefan Késenne & Brad R. Humphreys (ed.), The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. Barone, Adriana & Nese, Annamaria, 2015. "Body Weight and Gender: Academic Choice and Performance," MPRA Paper 68450, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Cawley, John & Maclean, Johanna Catherine & Hammer, Mette & Wintfeld, Neil, 2015. "Reporting error in weight and its implications for bias in economic models," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 27-44.
    17. Howse, Jennifer H. & Jones, Steve & Hungin, A.Pali S., 2011. "Screening for diabetes in unconventional locations: Resource implications and economics of screening in optometry practices," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 193-199.
    18. Bruno, Giovanni S. F. & Caroleo, Floro Ernesto & Dessy, Orietta, 2015. "Obesity and Economic Performance of Young Workers in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 9050, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Wen, Ming & Maloney, Thomas N., 2014. "Neighborhood socioeconomic status and BMI differences by immigrant and legal status: Evidence from Utah," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 120-131.
    20. BARONE, Adriana & NESE, Annamaria, 2014. "Body Weight and Academic Performance: Gender and Peer Effects," CELPE Discussion Papers 129, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    21. Hamrick, Karen S., 2012. "Nonresponse Bias Analysis of Body Mass Index in the Eating and Health Module," Technical Bulletins 184303, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    22. Kitae Sohn, 2016. "Height and Happiness in a Developing Country," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 1-23, February.

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