Use of Tape-Recorded Food Records in Assessing Children's Dietary Intake

Authors

  • Christine H. Lindquist,

    1. Division of Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Nutrition Sciences, School of Health Related Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Tina Cummings,

    1. Division of Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Nutrition Sciences, School of Health Related Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Michael I. Goran Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Nutrition Sciences, School of Health Related Professions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
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Institute for Prevention Research, Department of Preventive Medicine, 1540 Alcazar Street, Room 208-D, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033. E-mail: goran@usc.edu

Abstract

Background: Dietary assessment among children is particularly problematic when techniques are dependent on memory skills or advanced cognitive development.

Objective: The current study explored the use of self-report by tape recorders to document children's dietary intake immediately upon consumption, and compared this method with the traditional, interviewer-guided recall technique. In addition, the influence of body fatness and sociodemographic characteristics on the accuracy of recall and tape-recorded food records was determined.

Research Methods and Procedures: The sample included 30 black and white children aged 6.5 to 11.6 years ( = 9.5). Energy intake (EI), measured by six 24-hour food records (three for each method), was compared with total energy expenditure calculated by the doubly labeled water technique. Paired t tests, correlation analyses, and multiple re-gression analyses were performed.

Results: The analyses revealed poor validity of the tape recorder method ( misreporting score = −1.13 ± 2.62 MJ/day, r for total energy expenditure and EI = −0.06, p = 0.74). Estimates of EI differed significantly between the tape recorder and recall methods (p < 0.01). The traditional recall method was confirmed as a valid estimate of energy intake ( misreporting score = 0.04 ± 2.38 MJ/day), although demonstrating a modest correlation with TEE (r = 0.32, p = 0.08). Although no significant predictors of misreporting using the recall method were identified in the multivariate analyses, older children and children with higher adiposity were more likely to misreport using the tape recorder method.

Discussion: The results suggest that the use of the tape recorder for estimating EI does not result in accurate assessments among children, although this techniquemay be useful for specific subgroups (i.e., younger and leaner children).

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