Comparison of Self-reported and Measured Height, Weight and BMI in Turkish University Students

Sibel Önal, Sercan Acar, Ayşegül Özdemir, Cansev Meşe Yavuz, Seçil Sağır, Mehmet Sağır, Başak Koca Özer


Accuracy and validity of self-reported height and weight, and body image satisfaction have not been evaluated particularly in young adult population in Turkey. The aim of the study was to establish the differences of self-reported height and weight, and body mass index (BMI). The study conducted on 617 university students (304 males and 313 females) aged 17-30 years from Ankara and Sivas, Turkey. Height and weight were measured and obtained by a questionnaire. From both measured and self-reported values for accuracy absolute differences were calculated. BMI was calculated from both self-reported and measured height and weight values using World Health Organization (WHO) cut-offs. The results showed that mean accuracy for the overestimated height was 1.83 cm for males (Ankara 1.59 cm and Sivas 2.05 cm), and 2.42 cm for females (Ankara 2.12 cm and Sivas 2.74 cm), and underreporting weight was 0.35 kg (Ankara 0.13 kg and Sivas 0.56 kg) and -0.95 kg (Ankara 0.33 kg and Sivas 1.07 kg), respectively. Self-reported BMIs>25 was 33.9% for males (Ankara 27.6% and Sivas 39.6%), and 15.7% for females (Ankara 9.9% and Sivas 16.8%), while measured BMIs>25 was 38.2% (Ankara 30.3% and Sivas 45.3%) and 25.9% (Ankara 21.7% and Sivas 35.5%), respectively. In conclusion, study group tended to overestimate height but underestimate weight, therefore the self-reported weight and height studies needed to evaluate more cautiously, and direct measurements or correction equations for adjustment needed for reliable results. 


self-report, height, weight, body mass index, Turkish university students.

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