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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Aug;20(8):1703-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.9. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Sexual orientation and bias in self-reported BMI.

Author information

1
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, USA. tracy.richmond@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

Our objective was to determine if sexual orientation groups differ in accuracy of BMI (kg/m(2)) calculated from self-reported height and weight and if weight status modifies possible differences. Using gender-stratified multiple linear regression to analyze Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 12,197), we examined the association of sexual orientation with BMI calculated from self-reported height and weight (self-reported BMI), controlling for BMI calculated from objectively measured height and weight (objectively measured BMI) as well as demographic, health, and behavioral variables. We tested for effect modification of the relationship between sexual orientation and self-reported BMI by objectively measured BMI. The population underestimated their BMI (females: β = 0.87, P < 0.001; males = 0.86, P < 0.001). Sexual orientation groups differed little in their accuracy of reporting; only gay males had significant underreporting (β = -0.37, P = 0.038) relative to their heterosexual peers. We found no evidence of effect modification of the relationship of sexual orientation and self-reported BMI by objectively measured BMI. With the exception of gay males, sexual orientation groups are consistent in their underreporting of BMI thus providing confidence in most comparisons of weight status based on self-report. Self-reporting of weight and height by gay males may exaggerate the differences in BMI between gay and heterosexual males.

PMID:
22282109
PMCID:
PMC3837393
DOI:
10.1038/oby.2012.9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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