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Procedures for screening out inaccurate reports of dietary energy intake

  • Megan A Mccrory (a1), Cheryl L Hajduk (a1) and Susan B Roberts (a1)

To review existing methods and illustrate the use of a new, simple method for identifying inaccurate reports of dietary energy intake (rEI).


Comparison of rEI with energy requirements estimated by using total energy expenditure predicted (pTEE) from age, weight, height and sex using a previously published equation. Propagation of error calculations was performed and cut-offs for excluding rEI at plus or minus two standard deviations (±2 SD) and ±1 SD for the agreement between rEI and pTEE were established.


Dietary survey in a US national cohort: the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII), 1994–96.


Men and non-pregnant, non-lactating women aged 21–45 years in the CSFII who provided two multiple-pass 24-hour recalls, height and weight(n = 3755).


Average rEI was 77% of pTEE in men, and 64% of pTEE in women. Calculated cut-offs were rEI <40% or >160% of pTEE (±2 SD) and <70% or >130% of pTEE (±1 SD), respectively. Use of only the ±1 SD cut-offs, not the ±2 SD cut-offs, resulted in a relationship between rEI and body weight similar to what was expected (based on an independently calculated relationship between rEI and measured TEE). Exclusion of rEI outside either the ±2 SD (11% of subjects) or ±1 SD (57% of subjects) cut-offs did not affect mean reported macronutrient intakes, but did markedly affect relationships between dietary composition and body mass index.


When examining relationships between diet and health, use of ±1 SD cut-offs may be preferable to ±2 SD cut-offs for excluding inaccurate dietary reports.

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