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Energy intake misreporting among children and adolescents: a literature review

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While adults' energy intake misreporting is a well-documented phenomenon, relatively little is known about the nature and extent of misreporting among children and adolescents. Children's and adolescents' dietary reporting patterns are likely to be distinct because of their ongoing cognitive and social development. These developmental differences present unique challenges to aspects of dietary reporting, such as food knowledge, portion size estimation and response editing. This review of 28 articles describes energy intake misreporting among children and adolescents. Like adults, children and adolescents tended to underreport energy, with the largest biases observed with food records. Even when mean reported energy intake was close to its expected value, approximately half of all individuals were classified as misreporters, and overreporting appeared to be more common than it is among adults. Associations between numerous characteristics and misreporting were explored in the literature, with the most consistent findings for age and adiposity. Two predictors for adults, gender and social desirability, were not consistent factors among children and adolescents. The review concludes by highlighting knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research and practice.

Keywords: adolescent; child; dietary assessment; energy intake; misreporting; underreporting

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8709.2010.00270.x

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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