The US Department of Agriculture Automated Multiple-Pass Method reduces bias in the collection of energy intakes

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):324-32. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/88.2.324.


Background: The US Department of Agriculture Automated Multiple-Pass Method (AMPM) is used for collecting 24-h dietary recalls in What We Eat In America, the dietary interview component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Because the data have important program and policy applications, it is essential that the validity of the method be tested.

Objective: The accuracy of the AMPM was evaluated by comparing reported energy intake (EI) with total energy expenditure (TEE) by using the doubly labeled water (DLW) technique.

Design: The 524 volunteers, aged 30-69 y, included an equal number of men and women recruited from the Washington, DC, area. Each subject was dosed with DLW on the first day of the 2-wk study period; three 24-h recalls were collected during the 2-wk period by using the AMPM. The first recall was conducted in person, and subsequent recalls were over the telephone.

Results: Overall, the subjects underreported EI by 11% compared with TEE. Normal-weight subjects [body mass index (in kg/m(2)) < 25] underreported EI by <3%. By using a linear mixed model, 95% CIs were determined for the ratio of EI to TEE. Approximately 78% of men and 74% of women were classified as acceptable energy reporters (within 95% CI of EI:TEE). Both the percentage by which energy was underreported and the percentage of subjects classified as low energy reporters (<95% CI of EI:TEE) were highest for subjects classified as obese (body mass index > 30).

Conclusions: Although the AMPM accurately reported EIs in normal-weight subjects, research is warranted to enhance its accuracy in overweight and obese persons.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bias*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diet Surveys
  • Eating / psychology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • Telephone
  • United States
  • United States Department of Agriculture