Nutritional and pubertal status influences accuracy of self-reported weight and height in adolescents: The HELENA study

Laurent Béghin, Inge Huybrechts, Franscico B. Ortega, Stéphanie Coopman, Yannis Manios, Trudy M.A. Wijnhoven, Alain Duhamel, Donatella Ciarapica, Chantal C. Gilbert, Anthony Kafatos, Kurt Widhalm, Denes Molnar, Luis A. Moreno, Frédéric Gottrand

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Abstract

Background and Aims: The aim of this study was to assess factors that have an effect on the accuracy of self-reported weight and height in adolescents. Methods: Weight and height of 3,865 European adolescents aged 12.5 to 17.5 years were self-reported via specific questionnaire. Then real weight and height were measured using accurate equipment and standardized protocols. Differences (D) between self-reported and measured weight and height were calculated, and factors that could have influenced the accuracy of self-reported weight and height were assessed. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, Student's t test and multivariate regression. Results: Adolescents underestimated their weight (D = -0.81 kg; n = 2,968) and overestimated their height (D = +0.74 cm; n = 3,308). Obese girls underestimated their weight (D = -4.70 kg) and overestimated their height (D = +0.22 cm) to a greater extent (p < 0.05) than obese boys (D = -3.13 kg and +0.14 cm for weight and height, respectively). Underestimation of weight (D = -1.25 kg) and overestimation of height (D = +0.15 cm) were only significant for girls who had finished puberty (Tanner stage 5). Socioeconomic status, nutritional knowledge, physical fitness, physical activity level, food choice and preference, and healthy eating behaviour had no significant influence on the accuracy of self-reported weight and height. Conclusion: Our data confirms that self-reports of weight and height made by adolescents are inaccurate and demonstrate that inaccuracy is strongly influenced by nutritional status, pubertal status and gender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Height
  • Self-reporting
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Béghin, L., Huybrechts, I., Ortega, F. B., Coopman, S., Manios, Y., Wijnhoven, T. M. A., Duhamel, A., Ciarapica, D., Gilbert, C. C., Kafatos, A., Widhalm, K., Molnar, D., Moreno, L. A., & Gottrand, F. (2013). Nutritional and pubertal status influences accuracy of self-reported weight and height in adolescents: The HELENA study. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 62(3), 189-200. https://doi.org/10.1159/000343096