Misreporting of Energy Intake From Food Records Completed by Adolescents: Associations With Sex, Body Image, Nutrient, and Food Group Intake

Editor(s):
Jones L, Ness A and Emmett P

While a significant number of reports document poor diets in significant segments of young children and adults, such data is scant for children in middle childhood (5-11years of age) and adolescence (12-19 years of age). Additionally, obtaining dietary data in this age group presents specific methodological challenges compared to younger and older age groups, including behavioral factors and food habits. These can impact not only what they eat may but may also affect how they report their intake. This study assesses the reporting of dietary intake of adolescents using data from a British cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). It finds that a significant proportion of adolescents underreport their dietary energy intake, and the high levels of underreporting were associated with their body weight status and body image. Underreporting of intake was positively associated with dissatisfaction with their weight, and perception of being overweight or obese; and was negatively associated with being underweight. Girls were much more likely than boys to be dissatisfied with their weight and diet but showed similarly high levels of underreporting (67%). This was associated with their individual perception of body weight status and body image and had a differential effect on their estimated food and macronutrient intakes. This study highlights difficulties related to the psychosocial and behavioral changes that characterize this life period. And it suggests that assessment of misreporting is essential in studies collecting and interpreting dietary information from adolescents.


Source: Jones L, Ness A and Emmett P (2021) Misreporting of Energy Intake From Food Records Completed by Adolescents: Associations With Sex, Body Image, Nutrient, and Food Group Intake. Front. Nutr. 8:749007. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.749007.