Accuracy of self-reported anthropometric measures - Findings from the Finnish Twin Study

Obes Res Clin Pract. Nov-Dec 2019;13(6):522-528. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2019.10.006. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the accuracy of self-reported height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) compared to the measured values, and to assess the similarity between self-reported and measured values within dizygotic (DZ) and monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs.

Methods: The data on self-reported and measured height, weight and WC values as well as measured hip circumference (HC) were collected from 444 twin individuals (53-67 years old, 60% women). Accuracies between self-reported and measured values were assessed by Pearson's correlation coefficients, Cohen's kappa coefficients and Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement. Intra-class correlation was used in within-pair analyses.

Results: The correlations between self-reported and measured values were high for all variables (r=0.86-0.98), although the agreement assessed by Bland-Altman 95% limits had relatively wide variation. The degree of overestimating height was similar in both sexes, whereas women tended to underestimate and men overestimate their weight. Cohen's kappa coefficients between self-reported and measured BMI categories were high: 0.71 in men and 0.70 in women. Further, the mean self-reported WC was less than the mean measured WC (difference in men 2.5cm and women 2.6cm). The within-pair correlations indicated a tendency of MZ co-twins to report anthropometric measures more similarly than DZ co-twins.

Conclusions: Self-reported anthropometric measures are reasonably accurate indicators for obesity in large cohort studies. However, the possibility of more similar reporting among MZ pairs should be taken into account in twin studies exploring the heritability of different phenotypes.

Keywords: Accuracy; Anthropometric measure; Body mass index; Hip circumference; Twin study; Waist circumference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anthropometry*
  • Body Constitution*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report*
  • Sex Factors
  • Twins, Dizygotic / statistics & numerical data
  • Twins, Monozygotic / statistics & numerical data
  • Waist Circumference