Validity of self-reported fat distribution in young adults: The CARDIA Study

Diane E. Bild, Phyliss D. Sholinsky, Pamela J. Schreiner, Joan E. Hilner, Christine A. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To determine the validity of self-reported information on body fat distribution, relationships between reported location of weight gain and measured waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and fasting insulin were analyzed in 5115 black and white men and women aged 18-30 years. In black men, WHR adjusted for age and body mass index (BMI) ranged from 0.833 among those reporting upper and central weight gain to 0.812 among those reporting lower body weight gain (trend across five reported fat distribution categories, P = 0.0004). Corresponding values were, for white men, 0.852 to 0.831; for black women, 0.777 to 0.721; and for white women, 0.772 to 0.701 (each P < 0.0001). Reported fat distribution was associated with HDL-C in women, but not in men, and with lasting insulin in all groups. While these associations were somewhat weaker than with measured WHR, self-reported fat distribution does provide valid information about body fat distribution in young adults, particularly women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-413
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts N01-HC-48047, N01-HC-48048, N01-HC-48049, N01-HC-48050, and N01-HC-95095.


  • Fat distribution
  • HDL-cholesterol
  • Insulin
  • Risk factors
  • Self-report


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