Eating disorders, dieting, and the accuracy of self-reported weight
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OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the accuracy of self-reported weight and height in individuals with an eating disorder (i.e., anorexia nervosa [AN] and bulimia nervosa [BN]) and in individuals without an eating disorder (i.e., dieters and nondieters). METHOD: Self-reported and measured weights and heights were obtained from the eating disorder sample (n = 81) and the college student sample (n = 163) and were compared within and between the groups. RESULTS: Eating disorder patients were extremely accurate at self-reporting their weight. However, there was a significant difference in accuracy between AN and BN patients. AN patients slightly overreported their weight, whereas BN patients slightly underreported their weight. Both dieters and nondieters significantly underreported their weight. However, dieters significantly underreported their weight to a greater degree than did the nondieters. DISCUSSION: The implications of these subgroup differences and their specificity to weight reporting are discussed with reference to the accuracy of self-reported height.
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