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Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2009 Sep-Oct;17(5):366-70. doi: 10.1002/erv.950.

Accuracy of self-reported weight and height among women with eating disorders: a replication and extension study.

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  • 1Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.



Self-reported height and weight data are commonly reported within eating disorders research, and often used clinically. The aims of this study are to demonstrate the accuracy of self-reported height and weight among a group of women with eating disorders, and to determine whether that accuracy is associated with clinical diagnosis or levels of eating psychopathology.


Sixty-four female patients (39 diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa or atypical Anorexia Nervosa and 25 with Bulimia Nervosa or atypical Bulimia Nervosa) were asked to self-report their height and weight. They then completed the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Finally, they were weighed and their height was measured in a standardised manner. Accuracy scores for height and weight were calculated by subtracting their actual weight and height from their self-reports.


Both diagnostic groups were relatively accurate in self-reporting their height. However, women with Bulimia Nervosa or atypical Bulimia Nervosa significantly underestimated their weight while women with Anorexia Nervosa or atypical Anorexia Nervosa overestimated it. Weight estimation was associated with higher levels of restraint among the Anorexia Nervosa group only.


These findings highlight the importance of obtaining objective height and weight data both within clinical and research settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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