top of page
< Back

Literacy and body fatness are associated with underreporting of energy intake in US low-income women using the multiple-pass 24-hour recall: a doubly labeled water study

Johnson, R. K.; Soultanakis, R. P.; Matthews, D. E.

Date Published:





Extra Links:



PMID: 9787719


OBJECTIVE: The accuracy of the multiple-pass 24-hour recall method for estimating energy intake in low-income women in the United States was ascertained by comparing the method with measurements of total energy expenditure. The multiple-pass 24-hour recall is designed to provide respondents with multiple cues and opportunities to report their food intake. It consists of 3 distinct passes: the quick list, detailed description, and review. Predictors of energy intake misreporting (energy intake--total energy expenditure) in the sample were determined. DESIGN: Four multiple-pass 24-hour recalls (2 in person, 2 by telephone) were obtained over a 14-day period to estimate energy intake. Total energy expenditure was measured over the same 14-day period using the doubly labeled water method. Body composition was measured using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and literacy was measured by the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) for reading and spelling. SUBJECTS/SETTINGS: Thirty-five low-income women between the ages of 19 and 46 years were tested at the General Clinical Research Center at the University of Vermont, Burlington. Low income was defined as a household income at or below 130% of the federal poverty level. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Pearson product moment correlation coefficients, t tests, paired t tests, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to test the relationships among study variables. RESULTS: Mean energy intake was significantly lower than mean total energy expenditure (2,197 +/- 607 vs 2,644 +/- 503 kcal, P = .001) and the correlation between the 2 measures was poor (r = .22, P = .20). Percentage body fat and the combined age-adjusted reading and spelling WRAT scores were the best predictors of misreporting of energy intake (R = .52, P = .006). CONCLUSIONS: The multiple-pass 24-hour recall did not generate a group measure of energy intake that was accurate or unbiased in this sample. Underreporting was strongly associated with increased body fatness. The ability to read and spell as measured by the WRAT improved the accuracy of the women's recall of their food intake. APPLICATIONS: Dietetics professionals should take into consideration the problem of underreporting whenever conclusions are made about associations between diet and health and/or when evaluating the impact of food assistance programs on dietary intake.

Automatic Tags

Female; Humans; Adult; Middle Aged; Energy Intake; Educational Status; Poverty; Body Composition; Body Weight; Adipose Tissue; Diet Records; Mental Recall

bottom of page