Objective: To determine the frequency and characteristics of energy intake underreporting in African-American preadolescent girls as part of the Girls health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS).
Methods and Procedures: Energy intake was summarized using the Nutrition Data System for Research software and computed as a 3-day average of 24-h dietary recalls. Physical activity was assessed by an accelerometer, basal metabolic rate (BMR) was estimated using the World Health Organization's prediction equation, and underreporting of caloric intake was based on the Goldberg equation.
Results: Using a conservative criterion for determining energy underreporting, we classified 54.8% of the girls as underreporters; 45.2% were classified as plausible reporters. Factors related to underreporting included higher BMI (β = −0.506, P ≤ 0.001), older age (β = −0.159, P = 0.001), greater unhealthy eating behaviors (β = −0.118, P = 0.025), and higher self-efficacy for diet (β = −0.098, P = 0.033).
Discussion: Underreporting of dietary intake, specifically energy, is common in African-American preadolescent girls and can be partially explained by weight status and psychosocial variables. The extent of dietary underreporting in specific and high-risk populations is largely unknown and could be evaluated by routinely including a report of such an index in future research studies.