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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2002 Oct;26(5):473-8.

A comparison of self-reported and measured height, weight and BMI in Australian adolescents.

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  • 1Centre for Public Health Research, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.



To explore the relationship between self-reported weight and height to actual weight and height in older Australian adolescents.


Weights and heights of 572 adolescents aged 15-19 years who participated in the 1995 Australian National Health Survey (NHS) and National Nutrition Survey (NNS) were examined.


Self-reported heights were significantly higher than measured heights in participants. There were no differences in the accuracy of self-reported heights among the adolescents by gender. Self-reported weights were significantly lower than measured weights among both boys and girls (p < 0.01). There were no differences in the accuracy of self-reported weights among the boys and girls. Differences between actual weight and self-reported weight were significantly greater for overweight or obese adolescents compared with normal/underweight adolescents (p < 0.01). The use of self-reported weight and height resulted in the correct classification of overweight or obesity in 69% boys and 70% of girls.


There was no significant gender difference in reporting weight and height in older adolescents. Bias in reporting weight and height was much higher in overweight or obese adolescents than normal/underweight adolescents.


The percentage of misclassification of overweight or obesity from self-reported data in this study was 31% for boys and 30% for girls, respectively. Therefore, the self-reported weight and height of older adolescents needs to be more cautiously utilised. Efforts to improve the accuracy of self-reporting in older adolescents are needed if this measure is to be reliable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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