General practitioners cannot rely on reported weight and height of children

Janneke van Leeuwen, Marienke van Middelkoop, Winifred D. Paulis, Patrick J.E. Bindels, Bart W. Koes
2018 Primary Health Care Research and Development  
Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate the differences between reported and measured weight and height for underweight, normal-weight, and overweight children, particularly in a general practitioner setting. Background: Screening, signaling, and treatment of childhood obesity by the general practitioner depends on accurate weight and height measurements.Methods: Data on reported and measured weight and height from a cohort including 715 normal-weight and overweight children aged 2–17 were
more » ... dren aged 2–17 were used. Means of reported and measured weight and height were compared using the paired T-test. Findings: Of the 715 included children, 17.5% were defined as being underweight, 63.2% normal-weight, and 19.3% overweight according to direct measured height and weight. In the age group 2–8 years, parents of underweight children reported a significantly higher weight than measured weight [mean differences (MD) 0.32 kg (0.02, 0.62)], whereas parents of overweight young children reported a significantly lower weight [MD −1.08 kg (−1.77, −0.39)]. In the age group 9–17 years, normal-weight [MD −0.51 kg (−0.79, −0.23)] and overweight children [MD −1.28 kg (−2.08, −0.47)] reported a significantly lower weight than measured weight. Conclusions: General practitioners cannot rely on reported weight and height measures from parents and children. In case of suspected under- or overweight in children, it should be advised to measure weight and height in general practice.
doi:10.1017/s1463423618000713 fatcat:s5irjj3q7ncr7hj7mjreywfzzq