Canadians are miscalculating their weight and height, resulting in faulty national statistics.Quote has been trimmed
Two different studies looked at the effects of data collected through Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and National Population Health Survey (NPHS). The studies relied heavily on self-reported weight and height information by respondents in order to estimate body mass index (BMI). The information was then used by StatsCan determine national obesity rates.
"People tend to over-report their height and under-estimate their weight and that results in huge problems," Ian Janssen, Queen's University obesity expert told Canada AM.
As people get older, the reporting errors tend to increase as well.
StatsCan discovered that men who responded to the 2005 CCHS survey tended to over-estimate their height by roughly one centimetre and women by about half that much.
Weight miscalculations were more pronounced. Women tended to under-report their weight by about 2.5 kilograms on average, and men by 1.8 kilograms. The study found the heavier the person, the more they under-reported.