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ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
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Accuracy of Self-Reported Height and Weight to Determine Body Mass Index Among Youth

Catherine Kreatsoulas1*, Areej Hassan2, SV Subramanian3 and Eric W Fleegler4

1Department of Society, Human Development and Health Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, 1137 Massachusetts Ave (37), Cambridge, MA, USA

2Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, USA

3Department of Society, Human Development and Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge Building 7th Floor, 716, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

4Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Catherine Kreatsoulas, Ph.D.
Department of Society
Human Development and Health Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard University, 1137 Massachusetts Ave (37)
Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
Tel: 617-355-7181
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: July 29, 2013; Accepted Date: January 24, 2014; Published Date: January 26, 2014

Citation: Kreatsoulas C, Hassan A, Subramanian SV, Fleegler EW (2014) Accuracy of Self-Reported Height and Weight to Determine Body Mass Index Among Youth. J Child Adolesc Behav 2:126. doi: 10.4172/2375-4494.1000126

Copyright: © 2014 Kreatsoulas C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Background: Self-reported height and weight has important economic, clinical and research value however
little is known on the accuracy of self-reporting BMI among youth. Our objective was to determine the accuracy of
self-reported height and weight estimates compared to measured height and weight used to determine BMI, among
youth.
Methods: Youth ages 15-25 were recruited from primary care urban hospital clinical where a trained clinical
assistant measured the participant’s height and weight. The youth were asked to self-report their height and weight
as part of a larger computerized survey. Continuous variables were compared using t-tests, and dichotomous
variables using chi-square tests. BMI correlation was determined using Pearson’s r and agreement using a weighted
kappa test.
Results: Among 355 youth, the mean measured BMI for men: 27.3+7.0 kg/m2 compared to women: 28.9+8.7
kg/m2 (p=0.08). 58% of youth had an above normal BMI. There was high correlation between measured and selfreported
BMI when calculated using an adjusted r2=0.84 (p<0.01). Agreement was also high between BMI categories
(weighted kappa=0.88, p<0.01).
Conclusions: Youth can accurately self-report height and weight to derive meaningful BMI scores for BMI
categorization during this important period of body transition in the life course cycle. BMI is often conceptualized as
categories and the weighted kappa test is a sensitive test capturing ordinal levels of BMI categorical agreement.

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