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Research Letter
June 17, 2019

Accuracy of Parent-Measured and Parent-Estimated Heights and Weights in Determining Child Weight Status

Author Affiliations
  • 1College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix
  • 2MedStar Health Research Institute, Hyattsville, Maryland
  • 3Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
  • 4Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(8):793-795. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1545

Accurate measurements of height and weight are necessary for assessing weight status of children in population-based studies. Professionally measured heights and weights represent the criterion standard for calculating body mass index (BMI), the most feasible and frequently used measure of body weight status. However, collecting professionally measured data on sufficient samples of children in population studies is extremely resource intensive.1 As a result, these studies often rely on child- or parent-estimated heights and weights. Although these estimated values are easy to collect, they are prone to misreporting, with systematic differences across sociodemographic characteristics.2