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Int J Public Health. 2012 Jun;57(3):643-7. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0323-z. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Interviewer BMI effects on under- and over-reporting of restrained eating: evidence from a national Dutch face-to-face survey and a postal follow-up.

Author information

1
Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. r.eisinga@maw.ru.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the effect of interviewer BMI on self-reported restrained eating in a face-to-face survey and to examine under- and over-reporting using the face-to face study and a postal follow-up.

METHODS:

A sample of 1,212 Dutch adults was assigned to 98 interviewers with different BMI who administered an eating questionnaire. To further evaluate misreporting a mail follow-up was conducted among 504 participants. Data were analyzed using two-level hierarchical models.

RESULTS:

Interviewer BMI had a positive effect on restrained eating. Normal weight and pre-obese interviewers obtained valid responses, underweight interviewers stimulated under-reporting whereas obese interviewers triggered over-reporting.

CONCLUSION:

In face-to-face interviews self-reported dietary restraint is distorted by interviewer BMI. This result has implications for public health surveys, the more so given the expanding obesity epidemic.

PMID:
22116390
PMCID:
PMC3359459
DOI:
10.1007/s00038-011-0323-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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