Obes Sci Pract. 2020 Aug 21;6(6):615-627. doi: 10.1002/osp4.449. eCollection 2020 Dec.
BACKGROUND: In-person assessments of physical activity (PA) and body weight can be burdensome for participants and cost prohibitive for researchers. This study examined self-reported PA and weight accuracy and identified patterns of misreporting in a diverse sample.
METHODS: King, Pierce and Yakima county residents, aged 21-59 years (n = 728), self-reported their moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and weight, in kilograms. Self-reports were compared with minutes of bout-level MVPA, from 3 days of accelerometer data, and measured weights. Regression models examined characteristics associated with underreporting and overreporting of MVPA and weight, the potential bias introduced using each measure and the relation between perceived and measured PA and weight.
RESULTS: MVPA underreporting was higher among males and college educated participants; however, there was no differential MVPA overreporting. Weight underreporting was higher among males, those age 40-49 years and persons with obesity. Weight overreporting was higher among Hispanic participants and those reporting stress, unhappiness and fair or poor health. The estimated PA-obesity relation was similar using measured and self-reported PA but not self-reported weight. Perceived PA and weight predicted measured values.
CONCLUSION: Self-reported PA and weight may be useful should objective measurement be infeasible; however, though population-specific adjustment for differential reporting should be considered.