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J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jun;108(6):1003-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.03.006.

Underreporting of energy intake and associated factors in a Latino population at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, 55 Lake Ave N, Shaw Bldg, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


The objective of this study was to examine the extent of underreporting of total energy intake and associated factors in a low-income, low-literacy, predominantly Caribbean Latino community in Lawrence, MA. Two hundred fifteen Latinos participated in a diabetes prevention study, for which eligibility included a >or=30% risk of developing diabetes in 7.5 years. Dietary self-reported energy intake was assessed using three randomly selected days of 24-hour diet recalls. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) was estimated using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation. Underreporting was determined by computing a ratio of energy intake to BMR, with a ratio of 1.55 expected for sedentary populations. Linear regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with underreporting (energy intake:BMR ratio). The population was predominately women (77%), middle-aged (mean 52+/-11 years), obese (78% had a body mass index >or=30); low-literate (62% < high school education), unemployed (57% reported no job), married or living with partner (52%), and some had a family history of diabetes (37% had siblings with diabetes). Reported total daily energy intake was 1,540+/-599 kcal, whereas estimated BMR was 1,495.7+/-245.1 kcal/day. When multiplied by an activity factor (1.20 for sedentariness), expected energy intake was 1,794+/-294.0 per day, indicating underreporting by an average of 254 kcal/day. Mean energy intake:BMR was 1.03+/-0.37, and was lower for participants with higher body mass index, siblings with diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, and those who were unemployed. Energy intake underreporting is prevalent in this low-income, low-literacy Caribbean Latino population. Future studies are needed to develop dietary assessment measures that minimize underreporting in this population.

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