Bias in reported body weight as a function of education, occupation, health and weight concern

Addict Behav. Mar-Apr 1996;21(2):217-22. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(95)00050-x.


Comparison of self-reported and measured weights in a working population of 2046 men and 2393 women revealed systematic underreporting of 1.3% in men and 1.7% in women. Underreporting was significantly related to weight, height, and current participation in a weight reduction program in both men and women. In men only, it was also related to age, education, history of weight-control attempts, and history of weight-related health conditions. Overall, however, these predictor variables accounted for a small fraction of the variance in underreporting and the correlation between measured and self-reported weight was very high (rs = .99). It is concluded that self-reported body weight is an excellent approximation of actual weight across a broad range of population subgroups.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Bias
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology
  • Career Choice*
  • Data Collection
  • Diet, Reducing / psychology
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Truth Disclosure*
  • Workplace