The Psychosocial and Behavioral Characteristics Related to Energy Misreporting


Department of Nutritional Sciences, 118 Shantz Building, P.O. Box 210038, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721–0038; Phone: 520–621–9344; Fax: 520–621–9446; E-mail:


Energy underreporting occurs in 2% to 85% and overreporting in 1% to 39% of various populations. Efforts are needed to understand the psychosocial and behavioral characteristics associated with misreporting to help improve the accuracy of dietary self-reporting. Past research suggests that higher social desirability and greater eating restraint are key factors influencing misreporting, while a history of dieting and being overweight are more moderately associated. Eating disinhibition, body image, depression, anxiety, and fear of negative evaluation may be related to energy misreporting, but evidence is insufficient. This review will provide a detailed discussion of the published associations among psychosocial and behavioral characteristics and energy misreporting.