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J Immigr Health. 2005 Apr;7(2):127-31.

Validity of self-reported weight and height: comparison between immigrant and non-immigrant Mexican Americans in NHANES III.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 26 Nichol Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.


This study examined whether 1) the immigrant Mexican Americans reported weight and height differently from the non-immigrant Mexican Americans and, 2) self-reporting errors influenced weight classification. A U.S. national sample of 3085 Mexican Americans from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was used to investigate validity using paired t-tests, multiple linear regressions, sensitivity and specificity. While immigrant Mexican American women reported their weight and height higher than non-immigrant women, no significant differences were found between immigrant and non-immigrant Mexican American men. Sensitivity and specificity of weight classification with self-reported weight and height were not different between immigrant and non-immigrant Mexican Americans; however, underweight Mexican Americans showed the lowest sensitivity. Therefore, self-reported weight and height can be used for the purpose of weight classification with immigrant and non-immigrant Mexican Americans, with an exception of underweight Mexican Americans.

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