Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Does energy intake underreporting involve all kinds of food or only specific food items? Results from the Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé (FLVS) study

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine if energy intake underreporting concerns all major food groups or if it occurs for specific food groups only.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study on dietary habits and food consumption.

SUBJECTS: Five-hundred and four women and 529 men, aged between 25 and 55 y participating in the Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé study.

MEASUREMENTS: A nutritional survey was conducted between March and June 1993 using a 3-day food record. Reported weight and height were used to estimate body mass index and basal metabolic rate. Underreporters were defined as subjects whose ratio of mean energy intake to basal metabolic rate was lower than 1.05. Food consumption was compared between underreporters and non-underreporters.

RESULTS: Energy percentage of fat and carbohydrate were lower in underreporters than in non-underreporters in contrast to the energy percentage of protein. This was due to the fact that food items rich in fat and/or carbohydrates (such as butter, French fries, sugars and confectionery, cakes and pastries) were reported to be less frequently eaten and/or in smaller quantities in underreporters compared to non-underreporters.

CONCLUSION: Although this study presents some limitations, like the use of reported weight and a standard value for physical activity, it shows that reported foods differed, quantitatively and qualitatively, between severe underreporters and non-underreporters. Underreporting of food intake does not result from a systematical underestimation of portion sizes for all food items, but seems to concern specific food items which are generally considered ‘bad for health’.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1

References

  1. Schoeller DA . Limitations in the assessment of dietary energy intake by self-report Metabolism 1995 44 (Suppl 2): 18–22.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Goldberg GR, Black AE, Jebb SA, Cole TJ, Murgatroyd PR, Coward WA, Prentice AM . Critical evaluation of energy intake data using fundamental principles of energy physiology: 1. Derivation of cut-off limits to identify under-recording Eur J Clin Nutr 1991 45: 569–581.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Black AE, Goldberg GR, Jebb SA, Livingstone MBE, Cole TJ, Prentice AM . Critical evaluation of energy intake data using fundamental principles of energy physiology: 2. Evaluating the results of published surveys Eur J Clin Nutr 1991 45: 583–599.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Lissner L, Heitmann BL, Lindroos AK . Measuring intake in free-living human subjects: a question of bias Proc Nutr Soc 1998 57: 333–339.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Carter LM, Whiting SJ . Underreporting of energy intake, socioeconomic status, and expression of nutrient intake Nutr Rev 1998 56: 179–182.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lafay L, Basdevant A, Charles MA, Vray M, Balkau B, Borys J-M, Eschwège E, Romon R . Determinants and nature of dietary underreporting in a free-living population: the Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé (FLVS) study Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1997 21: 567–573.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Price GM, Paul AA, Cole TJ, Wadsworth MEJ . Characteristics of the low-energy reporters in a longitudinal national dietary survey Br J Nutr 1997 77: 833–851.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Heitmann BL, Lissner L . Dietary underreporting by obese individuals-is it specific or non-specific? BMJ 1995 311: 986–989.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Johansson L, Solvoll K, Bjørneboe GEA, Drevon CA . Under- and overreporting of energy intake related to weight status and lifestyle in a nationwide sample Am J Clin Nutr 1998 68: 266–274.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Pryer JA, Vrijheid M, Nichols R, Kiggins M, Elliott P . Who are the ‘low energy reporters’ in the Dietary and Nutritional Survey of British Adults? Int J Epidemiol 1997 26: 146–153.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Heitmann BL . The influence of fatness, weight change, slimming history and other lifestyle variables, on diet reporting in Danish men and women aged 35–65 years Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1993 17: 329–336.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Bingham SA, Cassidy A, Cole TJ, Welch A, Runswick SA, Black AE, Thurnham D, Bates C, Khaw KT, Key TJA, Day NE . Validation of weighed records and other methods of dietary assessment using the 24 h urine nitrogen technique and other biological markers Br J Nutr 1995 73: 531–550.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Poppitt SD, Swann D, Black AE, Prentice AM . Assessment of selective under-reporting of food intake by both obese and non-obese women in a metabolic facility Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 1998 22: 303–311.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Lafay L, Vray M, Boute D, Basdevant A and the FLVS Study Group . Food and nutritional data for a population from northern France: The Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé (FLVS) study Rev Epidémiol Santé Publ 1998 46: 263–275.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Feinberg M, Favier JC, Ireland-Ripert J . Répertoire général des aliments. Technique et documentation Lavoisier; Paris 1991.

  16. Paul AA, Southgate DAT (eds) . 4th edn. HMSO: London 1978.

  17. Schofield WN, Schofield C, James WPT . Basal metabolic rate Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 1985 39C (Suppl 1): 1–96.

    Google Scholar 

  18. SAS/STAT User's Guide, Version 6 4th edn. SAS institute Inc.: Cary, NC 1989.

  19. Kuskowska-Wolk A, Karlsson P, Stolt M, Rössner S . The predictive validity of body mass index based on self-reported weight and height Int J Obes 1989 13: 441–453.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Bingham SA . The use of 24-h urine samples and energy expenditure to validate dietary assessments Am J Clin Nutr 1994 59 (Suppl): 227S–231S.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Rutishauser IHE . Is dietary underreporting macronutrient specific? Eur J Clin Nutr 1995 49: 219–220.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Macdiarmid JL, Blundell JE . Short report: dietary underreporting: what people say about recording their food intake Eur J Clin Nutr 1997 51: 199–200.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Ballard-Barbash R, Graubard I, Krebs-Smith SM, Schatzkin A, Thompson FE . Contribution of dieting to the inverse association between energy intake and body mass index Eur J Clin Nutr 1996 50: 98–106.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Sunday SR, Einhorn A, Halmi KA . Relationship of perceived macronutrient and caloric content to affective cognitions about food in eating-disordered, restrained, and unrestrained subjects Am J Clin Nutr 1992 55: 362–371.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Kirkley BG, Burge JC, Ammerman A . Dietary restraint, binge eating, and dietary behavior patterns Int J Eating Disorder 1988 7: 771–778.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. King GA, Herman CP, Polivy J . Food perception in dieters and non-dieters Appetite 1987 8: 147–158.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Hebert JR, Clemow L, Pbert L, Ockene IS, Ockene JK . Social desirability bias in dietary self-report may compromise the validity of dietary intake measures Int J Epidemiol 1995 24: 389–398.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank Boehringer-Mannheim France, Eridania Béghin-Say, Groupe Fournier, Lesieur and Nestlé France for their support to the Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Consortia

Corresponding author

Correspondence to L Lafay.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 6  Classification of foods

Appendix 2

Table 7  Composition table of specific food items (g/100 g food)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lafay, L., Mennen, L., Basdevant, A. et al. Does energy intake underreporting involve all kinds of food or only specific food items? Results from the Fleurbaix Laventie Ville Santé (FLVS) study. Int J Obes 24, 1500–1506 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801392

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801392

Keywords

  • underreporting
  • energy intake
  • foods
  • fat
  • carbohydrate
  • snacks

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links