Accuracy of Self-Reported Weight and Height and Resulting Body Mass Index Among Obese Binge Eaters in Primary Care: Relationship With Eating Disorder and Associated Psychopathology

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Objective: This study assessed the accuracy of self-reported weight, height, and body mass index in obese patients with binge-eating disorder (DSM-IV-TR criteria) presenting at primary care clinics and tested whether the degree of inaccuracy was associated with demographic factors or eating disorder and depressive features.

Method: Sixty-six participants were interviewed using the Eating Disorder Examination interview, completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire and the Beck Depression Inventory, and had their height and weight measured between November 2007 and May 2009.

Results: Self-reported and measured weight did not differ significantly, but participants significantly overestimated their height (P < .01), and this discrepancy resulted in a significantly lower self-reported than measured body mass index (P < .05). Discrepancy scores did not differ by eating disorder or depressive symptoms, sex, or ethnicity, although increasing age was associated with overestimation of height and underestimation of body mass index.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that obese patients with binge-eating disorder in primary care settings are reasonably accurate reporters of weight and height and that the degree of inaccuracy does not appear to be systematically related to eating disorder psychopathology or depressive features.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2010;12(4):e1–e6

Submitted: August 6, 2009; accepted October 26, 2009.

Published online: July 1, 2010 (doi:10.4088/PCC.09m00868blu).

Corresponding author: Rachel D. Barnes, PhD, Program for Obesity, Weight, and Eating Research, Yale University School of Medicine, PO Box 208098, New Haven, CT 06520-8098 (

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2010;12(4):e1-e6