Author(s): Sherry B, Jefferds ME, GrummerStrawn LM
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To examine the accuracy of self-reported height and weight data to classify adolescent overweight status. Self-reported height and weight are commonly used with minimal consideration of accuracy. DATA SOURCES: Eleven studies (4 nationally representative, 7 convenience sample or locally based). STUDY SELECTION: Peer-reviewed articles of studies conducted in the United States that compared self-reported and directly measured height, weight, and/or body mass index data to classify overweight among adolescents. MAIN EXPOSURES: Self-reported and directly measured height and weight. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Overweight prevalence; missing data, bias, and accuracy. RESULTS: Studies varied in examination of bias. Sensitivity of self-reported data for classification of overweight ranged from 55\% to 76\% (4 of 4 studies). Overweight prevalence was -0.4\% to -17.7\% lower when body mass index was based on self-reported data vs directly measured data (5 of 5 studies). Females underestimated weight more than males (ranges, -4.0 to -1.0 kg vs -2.6 to 1.5 kg, respectively) (9 of 9 studies); overweight individuals underestimated weight more than nonoverweight individuals (6 of 6 studies). Missing self-reported data ranged from 0\% to 23\% (9 of 9 studies). There was inadequate information on bias by age and race/ethnicity. CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported data are valuable if the only source of data. However, self-reported data underestimate overweight prevalence and there is bias by sex and weight status. Lower sensitivities of self-reported data indicate that one-fourth to one-half of those overweight would be missed. Other potential biases in self-reported data, such as across subgroups, need further clarification. The feasibility of collecting directly measured height and weight data on a state/community level should be explored because directly measured data are more accurate.
This article was published in Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
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