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Height and Weight Validation Study




Given the potential use of WIC data for monitoring as well as research purposes, it is critical to evaluate the accuracy of height and weight measurements recorded by WIC staff. The objective of this study was to examine the validity of height and weight measurements of PHFE WIC staff, thereby providing evidence that the use of WIC administrative data is a useful approach for tracking the obesity epidemic in early childhood. By demonstrating the validity of child height and weight measurements at PHFE WIC, it is expected that WIC administrative data systems can join other health system data as valid and useful systems for tracking the childhood obesity epidemic.

In 2010, with funding from the American Heart Association, UCLA and PHFE WIC conducted a height-weight validation study in seven PHFE WIC sites in Los Angeles County.

A sample of 367 children aged 2-5 years were recruited from seven PHFE WIC sites in LA County, and measured during their WIC recertification visits by trained research assistants using standardized protocols. These measurements were compared to measurements taken and recorded by WIC staff during the same WIC appointment. The investigators concluded that WIC height and weight measurements are sufficiently accurate to be used for examining child obesity risk.

For more information about this study, please contact