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Health Rep. 2008 Jun;19(2):77-84.

Effects of measurement on obesity and morbidity.

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Health Information and Research Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



This article compares associations between body mass index (BMI) categories based on self-reported vers measured data with selected health conditions. The goal is to see if the misclassifications resulting from the use of self-reported data alters associations between excess body weight and these health conditions.


The analysis is based on 2,667 respondents aged 40 years or older from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) who, during a face-to-face interview, provided self-reported values for height and weight and were then measured by trained interviewers. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine associations between BMI categories (based on self-reported and measured data) and obesity-related health conditions.


On average, BMI based on self-reported height and weight was 1.3 kg/m2 lower than BMI based on measured values. Consequently, based on self-reported data, a substantial proportion of individuals with excess body weight were erroneously placed in lower BMI categories. This misclassification resulted in elevated associations between overweight/obesity and morbidity.

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