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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):1013-9.

Comparison of self-reported with objectively assessed energy expenditure in black and white women before and after weight loss.

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  • 1Division of Physiology and Metabolism, Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294-1250, USA.



Weight maintenance is less successful in black women than in white women after weight loss.


We compared objectively assessed total energy expenditure (TEE) with estimates of energy expenditure (EE) from self-reported physical activity (PA) in overweight black and white women before and after weight loss. We also compared those values with values in never-overweight control subjects.


A total of 20 white and 21 black premenopausal women were evaluated while overweight and weight reduced; 20 white and 14 black control subjects (matched with women in the weight-reduced state) were evaluated once. Weight loss of >/=10 kg was achieved by energy restriction in the overweight subjects. The evaluations were as follows: body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), free-living TEE (doubly labeled water), Tecumseh Occupational Activity Questionnaire, Minnesota Leisure Time PA Questionnaire, and Baecke Activity Questionnaire.


Questionnaire estimates of TEE were overestimated when compared with TEE (P < 0.001). Overweight women overestimated TEE 49% more than did never-overweight control subjects. After weight loss, white women reduced overestimation of EE 48% (P < 0.05), so that their overestimation of EE was not different from that of black and white control subjects. Black women overestimated to the same extent both before and after weight loss.


Premenopausal women overestimate PA estimates on questionnaires. Overestimation of PA in weight-reduced black women is greater than in weight-reduced white women and never-overweight black and white women.

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