Comparison of self-reported and measured height and weight

Mari Palta, Ronald J. Prineas, Reuben Berman, Peter J Hannan

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540 Scopus citations


Screening data from the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program in Minneapolis, MN, 1973-1974, provided an opportunity to evaluate the accuracy of self-report of height and weight. it was found that both were reported, on the average, with small but systematic errors. Larger errors were found in certain population subgroups. Also, men and women differed somewhat in their pattern of misreporting. Weight was understated by 1.6% by men and 3.1% by women, whereas height was overstated by 1.3% by men and 0.6% by women. As in previous studies, it was found that the most important correlates of the amount of error were the actual measurements of height and weight. An interesting finding was that misreporting of both height and weight in men was correlated with both aspects of body size, whereas for women, it was related mainly to the characteristic in question. Certain other demographic variables, such as age and educational level, were also found to have some importance as factors influencing misreporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1982

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received for publication March 27, 1981,and in ig & nece88ity j nthese situations, final form June 25, 1981. ~, A I-A A m A\ U e Abbreviations ANOVA, analysis of variance, Sora recent literature (2-4) has fo-AHT, per cent discrepancy between stated and mea-cused on the accuracy of self-reported sured height; AWT, per cent discrepancy between bo(j siz& (generally reported as height stated and measured weight. , . , ,, „, , , ,ns j -,,,. ' Dept of Preventive Medicine, University of Iowa, and weight). Charney et al. (2) and Wing Iowa City, IA 52242 (Please send reprint requests et al. (3) performed investigations on to Dr. Palta at this address.) samples of young adults. Both 1Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, School of , , , , , Public Health, University of Minnesota, Mm-f°un that heavy persons understated neapolis, MN. their weights. Wing et al. (3) reported 3Clinical Studies Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, t h a t females understated their weights MThiTwork w^s' supported by US Public Health more than males, and that males below Service grant NOl-l-2242 the median weight actually overstated


  • Analysis of variance
  • Body height
  • Body weight
  • Regression analysis


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