Concordance of Self-Report and Measured Height and Weight of College Students

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Abstract

Objective:

This study examined associations between college students' self-report and measured height and weight.

Methods:

Participants (N = 1,686) were 77% white, 62% female, aged 18–24 years (mean ± SD, 19.1 ± 1.1 years), and enrolled at 8 US universities. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated for self-report (via online survey); trained researchers measured height and weight and categorized them as normal (18.5 to < 25), overweight (25 to < 30), obese (30 to < 35), and morbidly obese (≥ 35).

Results:

Concordance of self-report vs objectively measured BMI groups using chi-square revealed that 93% were accurate, 4% were underestimated, and 2.7% were overestimated. Pearson correlations and adjusted linear regression revealed significant associations between self-report and measured BMI (r = .97; P < .001) and BMI adjusted for age, gender, and race/ethnicity (R2 = .94). Concordance was also high between BMI categories (kappa = 0.77; P < .001).

Conclusions and Implications:

Findings provide support for the utility of self-report height and weight for survey research in college students.

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