People often lie about height and weight

People will often lie about their height and weight when asked to provide such details for research surveys, a new study has found. Published in the journal Ethnicity & Disease, the investigation revealed individuals tend to underestimate how heavy they are, while also overestimating how tall they stand.

Ming Wen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah, worked alongside her colleague Lori Kowaleski-Jones on the report and found that both men and women, from all ethnic groups, give the wrong information regarding their height.

However, it was shown that women are more prone to under-reporting their body-mass index than their male counterparts, with this especially true of white females compared to black and Hispanic ladies.
Despite this, Ms Wen stated: "In terms of studies examining risk factors of obesity, I don't think the under-reporting is a huge problem."

Dr Michael Sinclair, Consultant Counselling Psychologist and Chartered Psychologist, said: “These findings are not entirely surprising. Both genders, but maybe women more so, are under tremendous pressure today to conform to what they believe is the ideal body weight and shape is.

"The media has a large part to play in this where images of celebrities are portrayed as all too “perfect” and therefore the link that people make between status is society and body weight and shape is quite understandable.

"The growing misconception in society is that people with an imperfect body weight and shape may be imperfect as a person as well. It is understandable therefore that people may tend to withhold or alter the truth or even go to greater lengths, such as excessive dieting and exercise and/or cosmetic surgery, to avoid such feelings of low self-worth.”