Comparison of self-reported and measured height and weight

Am J Epidemiol. 1982 Feb;115(2):223-30. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a113294.


Screening data from the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program in Minneapolis, MN, 1973-1974, provided an opportunity to evaluate the accuracy of self-report of height and weight. It was found that both were reported, on the average, with small but systematic errors. Large errors were found in certain population subgroups. Also, men and women differed somewhat in their pattern of misreporting. Weight was understated by 1.6% by men and 3.1% by women, whereas height was overstated by 1.3% by men and 0.6% by women. As in previous studies, it was found that the most important correlates of the amount of error were the actual measurements of height and weight. An interesting finding was that misreporting of both height and weight in men was correlated with both aspects of body size, whereas for women, it was related mainly to the characteristic in question. Certain other demographic variables, such as age and educational level, were also found to have some importance as factors influencing misreporting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Height*
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors