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Self-reported and measured BMI in Ireland: should we adjust the obesity thresholds?

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  • David (David Patrick) Madden

Abstract

Using the nationally representative Slan dataset of 2007 we analyse the relationship between self-reported and measured BMI. We find that self-reported BMI significantly underestimates obesity rates and suggest that the traditional threshold of 30 should be adjusted downwards. We outline a number of approaches to choose the optimal threshold and results suggest that the new obesity threshold for self-reported BMI could be as low as 26.

Suggested Citation

  • David (David Patrick) Madden, 2013. "Self-reported and measured BMI in Ireland: should we adjust the obesity thresholds?," Working Papers 201301, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201301
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4238
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
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    1. Could obesity rates be even worse than expected?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-03-19 19:42:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Fernihough & Mark E. McGovern, "undated". "Physical Stature Decline and the Health Status of the Elderly Population in England," PGDA Working Papers 11214, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.

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    Keywords

    Body mass index; Receiver operating characteristic; Sensitivity; Specificity;

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