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Keywords:

  • BMI;
  • body image;
  • scale reliability and validity;
  • psychometrics;
  • videotape recording

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether Stunkard's Figure Rating Scale (FRS) is a valid and reliable index of weight status when an unbiased observer assigns the figure ratings of adult women viewed on videotape.

Research Methods and Procedures: Seventy-two women drawn from a community sample participated in a videotaped study in which height and weight were measured. The FRS is a rating scale displaying 9 silhouettes ranging from very thin to very obese. Women were assigned a figure rating “in-person” by a research assistant (FRS used as a 17-point scale) and by additional research assistants viewing women only on videotape (FRS used as both a 17- and 9-point scale). Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated for in-person figure ratings, mean videotape figure ratings, and BMI.

Results: BMI and in-person figure ratings were highly correlated (r = 0.91), as were BMI and both mean 17-point videotape figure ratings and mean 9-point videotape figure ratings (r = 0.89 and 0.87, respectively). Inter-rater agreement for in-person figure ratings and mean 17-point videotape figure ratings was 0.86, and agreement between in-person figure ratings and mean 9-point videotape figure ratings was 0.82.

Discussion: The FRS can be used as an index of women's weight status by an unbiased observer, with subjects viewed in-person or on videotape.