Accuracy of self-estimated body weight-height relationship in students

Maija Rumaka, Rudīte Lagzdiņa, Leons Blumfelds, Līga Aberberga-Augškalne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Inadequate body weight – too low or too high – for the height is associated with increased risk of metabolic, cardiovascular, joint diseases, and increases risk of various diseases. One of primary measures is the visual self-evaluation. Yet it does not always correspond to the objective reality and thus can stimulate inadequate corrective activity or inactivity.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the adequacy of self-estimation of body weight-height relationship to objectively measured parameters of body size and composition.
The current investigation involved 512 (103 male and 409 female) students of Rīga Stradiņš University in 19–49 age range. Students selected appropriate body silhouette from the modified Stunkard scale. Afterwards height and weight were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Body fat percent with Tanita MC-180 bioimpedance analyser was determined. The fluid and food intake, as well as physical activity before the test was reglamented.
Male students evaluated their body more precisely than females: 54% of males and only 34% of females estimated their BMI correctly, 31% of males and 61% of females overestimated it, but the weight of 15% and 5% respectively was underestimated. The ability to estimate weight-height relationship was related to the person’s actual BMI – persons with the higher BMI more underestimated their weight-height ratio while persons with the lower BMI overestimated it. This tendency was observed also in case when students were divided due to their fat percent.
Precision of self-estimation of body weight-height relationships is low, especially in women. Women more overestimated their weight-height ratio while men had more tendency to underestimate it. Persons with the higher BMI and fat percent more underestimated their BMI but persons with lower BMI overestimated it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRīga Stradiņš University Collection of Scientific Papers 2011
Subtitle of host publicationResearch articles in medicine & pharmacy
Place of PublicationRīga
PublisherRīga Stradiņš University
ISBN (Print)978-9984-788-58-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameCollection of Scientific Papers
PublisherRīga Stradiņš University
ISSN (Print)1691-497X


  • self-estimation
  • BMI
  • fat percent

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code


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