Comparison of Body Mass Index by self-reported versus measured height and weight

Percept Mot Skills. 2001 Feb;92(1):128-32. doi: 10.2466/pms.2001.92.1.128.


This study compared differences between self-reported and measured height and weight and subsequent Body Mass Index. College students (N=62) were asked to complete a health questionnaire as accurately as possible. Height and weight were self-reported without the knowledge that these variables would be subsequently measured. Self-reported and measured heights, weights, and calculated Body Mass Indexes were statistically compared. Analysis indicated that measured height was significantly less than self-reported height for men, but weight was not significantly different. Calculated Body Mass Index for men was not significantly different, however, self-reported Body Mass Index resulted in placement in the Normal range (18.5 to 24.9) category and measured Body Mass Index placement in the Overweight category (25.0 to 29.9). Women's self-reported and measured heights were not significantly different; however, self-reported weight was significantly less than measured. Further, significantly different Body Mass Indexes were found for women. It was concluded that self-reported height and weight might be viewed with caution in Body Mass Index assessment for convenience samples of college-age subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self-Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires