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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PATINO-VILLENA, Begoña et al. Validity of anthropometric measurements and weight perceptions reported by relatives of children under 4 years old. Gac Sanit [online]. 2016, vol.30, n.4, pp.300-303. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To assess the validity of weight and height measurements reported by parents and the perception of their children's weight status in order to assess the prevalence of overweight children under 4 years old. Methods: Cross-sectional study. Anthropometric data was collected by self-report questionnaires completed by parents of children 3-45 months old: 1) information from paediatric check-ups (gold standard); 2) information reported from the home environment; and 3) data from individual perceptions. WHO standards were used. Results: Reported height was underestimated, thus reported weight/height and BMI/age were overestimated. Overweight prevalence according to paediatric check-ups was 18.6%, compared to 26.5% reported prevalence, showing a moderate concordance (Kappa: 0.47 [0.34-0.60]), 70% sensitivity and 84% specificity. Subjective perception was 11.2%, representing 30% sensitivity and 93% specificity. Conclusions: The reported information has little validity for population-based studies, as height is underestimated and overweight status is not correctly perceived due to distortion of individual perception. Questionnaires must be validated and awareness raised among families.

Keywords : Overweight; Preschool; Body weight and measurements; Parents; Weight perception; Validity of tests.

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