Submitted to: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2005
Publication Date: 1/1/2006
Citation: Mahabir, S., Baer, D.J., Giffen, C., Subar, A., Campbell, W., Hartman, T., Clevidence, B.A., Albanes, D., Taylor, P. 2006. Calorie intake misreporting by diet record and food frequency questionnaire compared to doubly labeled water among postmenopausal women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 60:561-565. Interpretive Summary: The accuracy of self-reported energy (calorie) intake is difficult to assess in free-living populations. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of energy intake misreporting from a seven-day dietary record (a record of foods eaten during seven consecutive days) and a food frequency questionnaire (a measure of habitual dietary intake within the last 12 months). These results were compared to a well established biological marker for energy intake (doubly labeled water), which requires laboratory measurements. The population studied was 65 postmenopausal women, a population at high risk for conditions such as osteoporosis, breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On average, the women underestimated energy intake compared to energy expenditure as assessed from doubly labeled water by 37% on the seven day dietary record and by 42% on the food frequency questionnaire. It was concluded that measurement error from dietary records and food frequency questionnaires may weaken the ability to detect associations between energy and disease in postmenopausal women. This information will be useful to scientists and nutritionists who study caloric and nutrient intake.
Technical Abstract: Nutritional epidemiologists have long recognized the problem of measurement error using self-reported dietary data, in particular energy intake, but uncertainty remains about its magnitude in specific populations. Our study assessed the extent of energy misreporting from the use of a self-administered 7-day diet record (7-DDR) and a widely used food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) in a group of postmenopausal women (N=65), a population at high risk for conditions such as osteoporosis, breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On average, the women underestimated total energy intake compared to total energy expenditure assessed from doubly labeled water (DLW) by 37% on the 7-DDR and 42% on the FFQ. These findings suggest that the interpretation of findings from 7-DDR- and FFQ-based energy-disease association studies in postmenopausal women needs further evaluation.