Validity of overweight and obesity in a nation based on self-report versus measurement device data.

Research paper by U U John, M M Hanke, J J Grothues, J R JR Thyrian

Indexed on: 10 Nov '05Published on: 10 Nov '05Published in: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition


To analyze overweight and obesity in a nation by self-report (SR) data and by data about the target person provided via other household members compared to measurement devices (MD). The magnitude of hypothesized under-reporting by the SR data should be estimated with adjustment for age, gender, and education.Two cross-sectional studies, nationally representative health examination surveys (response rates: 61.4 and 73.2%, respectively).Adult general population of Germany aged 20-79 years.Sample 1 included 6806 residents. Samples 2 (n=98 673) and 3 (n=34 960) included residents in the second survey.In sample 1 MD data were collected, in sample 2 SR data were collected, and in sample 3 body weight and height information was provided from another household member living together with the target person.MD data revealed higher proportions of overweight and obesity compared to SR. Among women with body mass index (BMI) 35.00 or higher, the odds ratio (OR) was 3.9 (95% confidence interval, CI, 3.2-4.7), and among men 2.8 (CI, 2.2-3.6) for MD versus SR. Data from other household members also revealed higher proportions of overweight and obesity than SR (OR for BMI 35.00 or higher 2.1, CI, 1.7-2.5, for data from other household members versus SR in women and OR 1.3, CI, 1.1-1.5, in men).MD data should be used when providing proportions of overweight and obesity in a nation such as Germany.

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