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Research Letter |

Validity of Self-reported Weights Following Bariatric Surgery

Nicholas J. Christian, PhD1; Wendy C. King, PhD1; Susan Z. Yanovski, MD2; Anita P. Courcoulas, MD, MPH3; Steven H. Belle, PhD, MScHyg1
[+] Author Affiliations
1University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland
3University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2013;310(22):2454-2456. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281043.
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Obtaining standardized weights in long-term studies can be difficult. Self-reported weights are more easily obtained but are less accurate than those from a calibrated scale and may be inaccurately reported. Previous studies have reported that women tend to underreport their weight more than men with the degree of misreporting related to body mass index (BMI), whereby overweight individuals tend to underreport and underweight individuals tend to overreport.14 However, in a study of female gastric bypass candidates, self-reported presurgical weights averaged 0.3 kg more than measured weights and misreporting was not significantly related to BMI.5

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Figure.
Difference Between Self-reported and Measured Weights vs Measured Body Mass Index and Percentage Weight Change by Sex

Body mass index was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. The dashed blue line indicates the mean weight difference. About 95% of the points are expected to fall within 2 SDs of the mean, indicated by the blue shaded areas. For women, self-reported medical weight, the mean ± 2 SD is −3.7 to 3.5 and is −4.6 to 2.8 for self-reported personal weight. For men, self-reported medical weight, the mean ± 2 SD is −5.6 to 5.8 and is −6.4 to 3.4 for self-reported personal weight.

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