Validity of self-reported energy intake in lean and obese young women, using two nutrient databases, compared with total energy expenditure assessed by doubly labeled water

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001 Nov;55(11):940-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601249.


Objective: To compare self-reported total energy intake (TEI) estimated using two databases with total energy expenditure (TEE) measured by doubly labeled water in physically active lean and sedentary obese young women, and to compare reporting accuracy between the two subject groups.

Design: A cross-sectional study in which dietary intakes of women trained in diet-recording procedures were analyzed using the Minnesota Nutrition Data System (NDS; versions 2.4/6A/21, 2.6/6A/23 and 2.6/8.A/23) and Nutritionist III (N3; version 7.0) software. Reporting accuracy was determined by comparison of average TEI assessed by an 8 day estimated diet record with average TEE for the same period.

Results: Reported TEI differed from TEE for both groups irrespective of nutrient database (P<0.01). Measured TEE was 11.10+/-2.54 and 11.96+/-1.21 MJ for lean and obese subjects, respectively. Reported TEI, using either database, did not differ between groups. For lean women, TEI calculated by NDS was 7.66+/-1.73 MJ and by N3 was 8.44+/-1.59 MJ. Corresponding TEI for obese women were 7.46+/-2.17 MJ from NDS and 7.34+/-2.27 MJ from N3. Lean women under-reported by 23% (N3) and 30% (NDS), and obese women under-reported by 39% (N3) and 38% (NDS). Regardless of database, lean women reported higher carbohydrate intakes, and obese women reported higher total fat and individual fatty acid intakes. Higher energy intakes from mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids were estimated by NDS than by N3 in both groups of women (P< or =0.05).

Conclusions: Both physically active lean and sedentary obese women under-reported TEI regardless of database, although the magnitude of under-reporting may be influenced by the database for the lean women.

Sponsorship: USDA Hatch Project award (ARZT-136528-H-23-111) to LB Houtkooper and WH Howell.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Water
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet Records
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity