Method: The authors compared recalled weight at age 18 and self-reported current height among 118 participants in the Nurses' Health Study II cohort, aged 25-42 years in 1989, with records from physical examinations conducted at college or nursing school entrance.
Results: The correlation between recalled and measured past weight was 0.87 and between reported current height and measured past height was 0.94. Mean body mass index (BMI) values were 21.6 kg/m2 for BMI calculated using recalled weight and 22.1 kg/m2 using weight from medical records; the correlation was 0.84. Participants slightly under-reported weight at age 18 (mean difference = 1.4 kg).
Conclusion: The validity of recalled weight at 18 years of age and self-reported height as an estimate of height at age 18 appears to be high among women in this cohort.