Objective: Research on the accuracy of self-reported weight has indicated that the degree of misreporting (underestimating) weight is associated with increasing weight but is variable across patient groups. We examined the degree of discrepancy between actual and self-reported BMI in severely obese bariatric surgery candidates, and whether the degree of accuracy varied by race and by eating-related and psychological factors.
Research methods and procedures: Participants were 179 obese female gastric bypass surgery candidates (31 black, 22 Hispanic, 126 white) who were asked to self-report height and weight as part of a larger assessment battery. Actual height and weight were then measured and a discrepancy score was generated (actual BMI - reported BMI).
Results: In this group of severely obese patients, degree of misreporting was unrelated to BMI. The race groups did not differ in actual or self-reported BMI but differed significantly in the degree of misestimation between self-reported and actual BMI. Post hoc tests indicated that black women underestimated their BMI significantly more than white women; Hispanic women did not differ from the other race groups. No eating-related or psychological variables assessed predicted percentage discrepancy; however, the accuracy in self-reported weight was related to history of weight cycling.
Discussion: Overall, obese bariatric surgery candidates were accurate in self-report of weight, although the degree of accuracy differed by race and weight cycling history.