Janet L. Engstrom, CNM, PhD, FACNM, is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Nurse-Midwifery and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. Her research focuses on the reliability and validity of physical measurements.
Accuracy of Self-Reported Height and Weight in Women: An Integrative Review of the Literature
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
2003 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 48, Issue 5, pages 338–345, September-October 2003
How to Cite
Engstrom, J. L., Paterson, S. A., Doherty, A., Trabulsi, M. and Speer, K. L. (2003), Accuracy of Self-Reported Height and Weight in Women: An Integrative Review of the Literature. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 48: 338–345. doi: 10.1016/S1526-9523(03)00281-2
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2010
- self-reported height;
- self-reported weight;
- anthropometric measurements
Height and weight are two of the most commonly used anthropometric measurements in clinical practice and research. Self-reported height and weight measurement is a simple, efficient, inexpensive, and non-invasive method of collecting data from large numbers of people. This integrative review of the published research examined the accuracy of self-reported height and weight measurements in women. Twenty-six studies examined the accuracy of self-reported height in 39,244 women. Twenty-one of the studies found that women overestimate height. Thirty-four studies reviewed the accuracy of self-reported weight in 57,172 women, and all 34 studies reported that women underestimated weight. Although mean variations between self-reported and measured values were small, a significant percentage of women in study groups had very large errors. Inaccurate measurements of both height and weight can cause significant inaccuracies in calculation of body mass index, which is used as a guide for identifying persons at risk for disease. These findings indicate that direct measurement of height and weight should be performed whenever possible for optimal measurements in clinical practice and clinically oriented research.