Accuracy of self-reported energy intakes in low-income urban 4th grade minority children

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Nov;18(11):2220-6. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.144. Epub 2010 Jun 10.


We examined the accuracy of self-reported energy intake (rEI) in low-income, urban minority school-aged children at risk for obesity and associated diabetes utilizing a relatively new, simple previously published prediction equation for identifying inaccurate reports of dietary energy intake. Participants included 614 nine-year-old boys (51%) and girls (49%). Three 24-h dietary recalls were collected. Children's height, weight (used to calculate BMI), and percent body fat (%BF) were measured. Physical fitness, reported family history of diabetes, and ethnicity were also collected. A previously published prediction equation was used to determine the validity of rEIs in these children to identify under-, plausible-, and over-reporters. Additionally, we examined the question of whether there is a difference in reporting by sex, ethnicity, BMI, and %BF. On average, 18% of the children were at risk of being overweight, 43% were already overweight at baseline, yet these children reported consuming fewer calories on average than recommended guidelines. Additionally, reported caloric intake in this cohort was negatively associated with BMI and %BF. Using the previously described methods, 49% of participants were identified as under-reporters, whereas 39 and 12% were identified as plausible- and over-reporters, respectively. On average, children reported caloric intakes that were almost 100% of predicted energy requirement (pER) when the sedentary category was assigned. Inactivity and excessive energy intake are important contributors to obesity. With the rising rates of obesity and diabetes in children, accurate measures of energy intake are needed for better understanding of the relationship between energy intake and health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Diet Records
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / ethnology
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Self Report / standards*
  • Sex Factors
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Urban Population