Social desirability and self-reported weight and height

Larson, M R
May 2000
International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders;May2000, Vol. 24 Issue 5, p663
Academic Journal
The present study examines the relationship between the desire to conform to perceived societal norms and the misreporting of weight and height. Self-reported and measured weights and heights for 56 young, healthy non-obese volunteers were assessed and compared to scores on the Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS). Discrepancies between actual and self-reported weights for females were directly related to actual weight (r=0.66, P<0.0001). The same was not true for males (r=0.03). Height was significantly overreported, regardless of gender (P<0.004). Most importantly, for females, MCSDS scores were significantly correlated with the discrepancy between actual and self-reported weights after statistically adjusting for differences in actual weight (r=0.51, P<0.0001). Results suggest that the misreporting of weight among young, non-obese women may be directly influenced by the desire to conform to perceived societal norms.


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