Background: Previous studies have examined correlations between BMI calculated using parent-reported and directly-measured child height and weight. The objective of this study was to validate correction factors for parent-reported child measurements.
Methods: Concordance between parent-reported and investigator measured child height, weight, and BMI (kg/m2) among participants in the Neighborhood Impact on Kids Study (n = 616) was examined using the Lin coefficient, where a value of ±1.0 indicates perfect concordance and a value of zero denotes non-concordance. A correction model for parent-reported height, weight, and BMI based on commonly collected demographic information was developed using 75% of the sample. This model was used to estimate corrected measures for the remaining 25% of the sample and measured concordance between correct parent-reported and investigator-measured values. Accuracy of corrected values in classifying children as overweight/obese was assessed by sensitivity and specificity.
Results: Concordance between parent-reported and measured height, weight and BMI was low (0.007, - 0.039, and - 0.005 respectively). Concordance in the corrected test samples improved to 0.752 for height, 0.616 for weight, and 0.227 for BMI. Sensitivity of corrected parent-reported measures for predicting overweight and obesity among children in the test sample decreased from 42.8 to 25.6% while specificity improved from 79.5 to 88.6%.
Conclusions: Correction factors improved concordance for height and weight but did not improve the sensitivity of parent-reported measures for measuring child overweight and obesity. Future research should be conducted using larger and more nationally-representative samples that allow researchers to fully explore demographic variance in correction coefficients.
Keywords: Body mass index; Body weights and measures; Misperception; Obesity; Overweight; Parents.