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J Pediatr. 1994 Mar;124(3):348-54.

Elevated energy expenditure and reduced energy intake in obese prepubertal children: paradox of poor dietary reliability in obesity?

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Verona, Italy.


The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of two common methods used to assess energy intake. A 3-day weighed dietary record and a dietary history were collected and compared with the total daily energy expenditure (TEE) assessed by the heart rate method in a group of 12 obese and 12 nonobese prepubertal children (mean age 9.3 +/- 1.1 years vs 9.3 +/- 0.4 years). The TEE value was higher in obese than in nonobese children (9.89 +/- 1.08 vs 8.13 +/- 1.39 MJ/day; p < 0.01). Energy intake assessed by the dietary record was significantly lower than TEE in the obese children (7.06 +/- 0.98 MJ/day; p < 0.001) but comparable to TEE in the nonobese children (8.03 +/- 0.99 MJ/day; p = not significant). Energy intake assessed by diet history was lower than TEE in the obese children (8.37 +/- 1.35 MJ/day, p < 0.05) but close to TEE in the nonobese children (8.64 +/- 1.54 MJ/day, p = not significant). These results suggest that obese children underreport food intake and that the dietary record and the diet history are not valid means of assessing energy intake in obese prepubertal children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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