Intentional mis-reporting of food consumption and its relationship with body mass index and psychological scores in women
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2004
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 209–218, June 2004
How to Cite
Lara, J. J., Scott, J. A. and Lean, M. E. J. (2004), Intentional mis-reporting of food consumption and its relationship with body mass index and psychological scores in women. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 17: 209–218. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2004.00520.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2004
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2004
- body mass index;
- dietary restraint;
- intentional dietary mis-reporting;
Background The reasons for mis-reporting food consumption warrant investigation.
Objective To document intention to mis-report food consumption and its associations with psychological measures in women.
Design A total of 184 female volunteers aged 18–65 years, comprising 50 seeking help in primary care to lose weight with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg m−2 (obese-clinical group) and 134 nurses (nonclinical groups) (BMI <25 kg m−2, n = 52; BMI 25–29.9 kg m−2, n = 45; BMI ≥30 kg m−2, n = 37) were studied. A questionnaire was administered containing three psychological tests (self-esteem, psychological well-being and Stunkard's three-factor eating questionnaire) and new items to address food intake mis-reporting.
Results Overall, 68% of participants declared an inclination to mis-report (64% nonclinical, 78% clinical). Inclination to under-report was 29, 33 and 51% in the three nonclinical groups; and 46% among the obese clinical patients. Among the same groups, inclination to over-report were 39, 29, 11 and 32%. After adjusting for social deprivation and BMI, women inclined to mis-report had higher hunger (P = 0.008) and disinhibition (P = 0.005) scores than those intending to report accurately. These variables were associated with current dieting, frequency of dieting, self-reported bingeing and dissatisfaction with body weight.
Conclusions These findings indicate that intentional under-reporting and over-reporting of food consumption are common in women of all BMI categories and are associated with eating behaviour. Current dieting, frequency of dieting in the past, self-reported bingeing and dissatisfaction with body weight seem to mediate this relationship.