Publication Abstract

Authors: Lissner L, Troiano RP, Midthune D, Heitmann BL, Kipnis V, Subar AF, Potischman N

Title: OPEN about obesity: recovery biomarkers, dietary reporting errors and BMI.

Journal: Int J Obes (Lond) 31(6):956-61

Date: 2007 Jun

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Obesity-related under-reporting of usual dietary intake is one of the most persistent sources of bias in nutrition research. The aim of this paper is to characterize obese and non-obese individuals with respect to reporting errors observed with two common dietary instruments, using energy and protein recovery biomarkers as reference measures. POPULATION AND METHODS: This report employs data from the Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition (OPEN) study. Analyses are based on stratified samples of 211 (57 obese) men and 179 (50 obese) women who completed 24-h recalls (24HR), food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), doubly labelled water (DLW) and urinary nitrogen (UN) assessments. RESULTS: In obese and non-obese subgroups, FFQ yielded lower energy and protein intake estimates than 24HR, although biomarker-based information indicated under-reporting with both dietary instruments. Gender differences in obesity-related bias were noted. Among women, the DLW-based energy requirement was 378 kcal greater in obese than in non-obese groups; the FFQ was able to detect a statistically significant portion of this extra energy, while the 24HR was not. Among men, the DLW-based energy requirement was 485 kcal greater in the obese group; however, neither FFQ nor 24HR detected this difference in energy requirement. Combining protein and energy estimates, obese men significantly over-reported the proportion of energy from protein using the 24HR, but not with the FFQ. In obese women, no significant reporting error for energy percent protein was observed by either method. At the individual level, correlations between energy expenditure and reported energy intake tended to be weaker in obese than non-obese groups, particularly with the 24HR. Correlations between true and reported protein density were consistently higher than for protein or energy alone, and did not vary significantly with obesity. CONCLUSION: This work adds to existing evidence that neither of these commonly used dietary reporting methods adequately measures energy or protein intake in obese groups. The 24HR, while capturing more realistic energy distributions for usual intake, may be particularly problematic in the obese.