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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. SKLee@aesop.rutgers.edu

Abstract

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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