The height and weight reported by an adult may differ from the actual values. Rowland identified a number of factors affecting the accuracy of the self-reported height and weight. The direction and magnitude of the difference may be affected by cultural and personal ideals.


Factors affecting accuracy of the reported value for height and weight (page 1131):

(1) The more obese a patient is, the greater the tendency is to underreport weight.

(2) An overweight female is more likely to underreport weight than an overweight male. The tendency to underreport is increased in women who graduate from high school and who are 20 to 34 years of age.

(3) About a fifth of underweight men will overreport their weight by > 10 pounds (> 4.5 kilograms).

(4) Older patients overreport their height more than do younger people. The patient tends to report the height when younger, prior to any decrease in height associated with osteoporosis or other factors.

(5) Overweight patients tend to overreport height more than patients who are not.

(6) Overweight patients tend to show a digit preference when rounding down weight.


The author derived some simple linear equations for giving an idea of what the actual values may be based on the self-reported values:


measured weight in pounds for an adult male =

= (1.0185 * (self-reported weight in pounds)) - 4.1259


measured weight in pounds for an adult female =

= (1.0438 * (self-reported weight in pounds)) - 3.1974 - (0.0175 * (age in years))


measured height in inches for an adult male =

= (0.8865 * (self-reported height in inches)) + 7.1987 + (0.0222 * (age in years)) - (0.0004 * ((age in years)^2))


measured height in inches for an adult female =

= (0.8745 * (self-reported height in inches)) + 7.4583 + (0.0424 * (age in years)) - (0.0007 * ((age in years)^2))


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