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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2000 Feb;24(1):96-9.

Use of self-report to monitor overweight and obesity in populations: some issues for consideration.

Author information

  • 1Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, New South Wales. vicki@cmed.wsahs.nsw.gov.au

Erratum in

  • Aust N Z J Public Health 2000 Apr;24(2):213.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the validity of self-reported height and weight data reported over the telephone in the 1997 NSW Health Survey, and to determine its accuracy to monitor overweight and obesity in population surveys.

METHOD:

Self-reported and measured heights and weights were collected from 227 people living in Western Sydney, who had participated in the NSW Health Survey 1997.

RESULTS:

Self-reported (SR) weights and heights led to misclassification of relative weight status. BMI, based on measured weights and heights, classified 62% of males and 47% of females as overweight or obese, compared with 39% and 32%, respectively, from self-report.

CONCLUSIONS:

Caution should be used when interpreting SR height and weight data from surveys, because BMI derived from these is likely to underestimate the true prevalence of overweight and obesity.

IMPLICATIONS:

SR data have a place in nutrition monitoring because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to collect. However, classifying people into weight categories on the basis of accepted cut-points, using SR heights and weights, yields inaccurate prevalence estimates. Periodic sub-studies of the validity of SR heights and weights are needed to indicate the extent to which the validity of SR is changing.

PMID:
10777989
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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