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Temporal trends in misclassification patterns of measured and self-report based body mass index categories--findings from three population surveys in Ireland.

Shiely F, Perry IJ, Lutomski J, Harrington J, Kelleher CC, McGee H, Hayes K - BMC Public Health (2010)

Bottom Line: Underreporting of BMI increased across the three surveys (14%→21%→24%; p = 0.002).Sensitivity scores for the normal category exceeded 94% in all three surveys but decreased for the overweight (75%→68%→66%) and obese categories (80%→64%→53%).Simultaneously, specificity levels remained high.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, College Road, Cork, Ireland. f.shiely@ucc.ie

ABSTRACT

Background: As the use of self-reported data to classify obesity continues, the temporal change in the accuracy of self-report measurement when compared to clinical measurement remains unclear. The objective of this study was to examine temporal trends in misclassification patterns, as well as sensitivity and specificity, of clinically measured versus self-report based body mass index (BMI) from three national lifestyle surveys over a 10-year period.

Methods: The Surveys of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN) were interview based cross-sectional survey/measurements involving nationally representative samples in 1998, 2002 and 2007. Data from a subsample of both self-reported and measured height and weight were available from 66 men and 142 women in 1998, 147 men and 184 women in 2002 and 909 men and 1128 women in 2007. Respondents were classified into the BMI categories normal (< 25 kg m⁻²), overweight (25- < 30 kg m⁻²) and obese (≥ 30 kg m⁻²).

Results: Underreporting of BMI increased across the three surveys (14%→21%→24%; p = 0.002). Sensitivity scores for the normal category exceeded 94% in all three surveys but decreased for the overweight (75%→68%→66%) and obese categories (80%→64%→53%). Simultaneously, specificity levels remained high.

Conclusions: BMI values based on self-reported determinations of height and weight in population samples are underestimating the true prevalence of the obesity epidemic and this underestimation is increasing with time. The decreased sensitivity and consistently high specificity scores in the obese category across time, highlights the limitation of self-report based BMI classifications and the need for simple, readily comprehensible indicators of obesity.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Plots of sensitivity (left column) and specificity (right column), with 95% CI against SLÁN survey (x-axis): all respondents (1st row), males (2nd row), females (3rd row); normal (..............), overweight (--------), obese (_______).
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Figure 4: Plots of sensitivity (left column) and specificity (right column), with 95% CI against SLÁN survey (x-axis): all respondents (1st row), males (2nd row), females (3rd row); normal (..............), overweight (--------), obese (_______).

Mentions: The sensitivity and specificity for each BMI category across time are plotted, with 95% confidence interval bands, in figure 4 for the three SLÁN surveys. In all three, sensitivity was highest for males and females in the normal category indicating that men and women of normal weight were least likely to have been allocated to the wrong BMI category. Simultaneously the specificity was high, exceeding 80% at all times. Confidence interval bands around these calculations were narrower than for either the overweight or obese categories.


Temporal trends in misclassification patterns of measured and self-report based body mass index categories--findings from three population surveys in Ireland.

Shiely F, Perry IJ, Lutomski J, Harrington J, Kelleher CC, McGee H, Hayes K - BMC Public Health (2010)

Plots of sensitivity (left column) and specificity (right column), with 95% CI against SLÁN survey (x-axis): all respondents (1st row), males (2nd row), females (3rd row); normal (..............), overweight (--------), obese (_______).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2965717&req=5

Figure 4: Plots of sensitivity (left column) and specificity (right column), with 95% CI against SLÁN survey (x-axis): all respondents (1st row), males (2nd row), females (3rd row); normal (..............), overweight (--------), obese (_______).
Mentions: The sensitivity and specificity for each BMI category across time are plotted, with 95% confidence interval bands, in figure 4 for the three SLÁN surveys. In all three, sensitivity was highest for males and females in the normal category indicating that men and women of normal weight were least likely to have been allocated to the wrong BMI category. Simultaneously the specificity was high, exceeding 80% at all times. Confidence interval bands around these calculations were narrower than for either the overweight or obese categories.

Bottom Line: Underreporting of BMI increased across the three surveys (14%→21%→24%; p = 0.002).Sensitivity scores for the normal category exceeded 94% in all three surveys but decreased for the overweight (75%→68%→66%) and obese categories (80%→64%→53%).Simultaneously, specificity levels remained high.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, College Road, Cork, Ireland. f.shiely@ucc.ie

ABSTRACT

Background: As the use of self-reported data to classify obesity continues, the temporal change in the accuracy of self-report measurement when compared to clinical measurement remains unclear. The objective of this study was to examine temporal trends in misclassification patterns, as well as sensitivity and specificity, of clinically measured versus self-report based body mass index (BMI) from three national lifestyle surveys over a 10-year period.

Methods: The Surveys of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN) were interview based cross-sectional survey/measurements involving nationally representative samples in 1998, 2002 and 2007. Data from a subsample of both self-reported and measured height and weight were available from 66 men and 142 women in 1998, 147 men and 184 women in 2002 and 909 men and 1128 women in 2007. Respondents were classified into the BMI categories normal (< 25 kg m⁻²), overweight (25- < 30 kg m⁻²) and obese (≥ 30 kg m⁻²).

Results: Underreporting of BMI increased across the three surveys (14%→21%→24%; p = 0.002). Sensitivity scores for the normal category exceeded 94% in all three surveys but decreased for the overweight (75%→68%→66%) and obese categories (80%→64%→53%). Simultaneously, specificity levels remained high.

Conclusions: BMI values based on self-reported determinations of height and weight in population samples are underestimating the true prevalence of the obesity epidemic and this underestimation is increasing with time. The decreased sensitivity and consistently high specificity scores in the obese category across time, highlights the limitation of self-report based BMI classifications and the need for simple, readily comprehensible indicators of obesity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus