The validity of self-reported vs. measured body weight and height and the effect of self-perception

Arch Med Sci. 2018 Jan;14(1):174-181. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2016.61401. Epub 2016 Jul 22.

Abstract

Introduction: The objective was to assess the validity of self-reported body weight and height and the possible influence of self-perception of body mass index (BMI) status on the actual BMI during the adolescent period.

Material and methods: This cross sectional study was conducted on 3918 high school students. Accurate BMI perception occurred when the student's self-perception of their BMI status did not differ from their actual BMI based on measured height and weight. Agreement between the measured and self-reported body height and weight and BMI values was determined using the Bland-Altman metod. To determine the effects of "a good level of agreement", hierarchical logistic regression models were used.

Results: Among male students who reported their BMI in the normal region, 2.8% were measured as overweight while 0.6% of them were measured as obese. For females in the same group, these percentages were 1.3% and 0.4% respectively. Among male students who perceived their BMI in the normal region, 8.5% were measured as overweight while 0.4% of them were measured as obese. For females these percentages were 25.6% and 1.8% respectively. According to logistic regression analysis, residence and accurate BMI perception were significantly associated with "good agreement" (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrated that in determining obesity and overweight statuses, non-accurate weight perception is a potential risk for students.

Keywords: height; self-perception; self-reported; validity; weight.