Aims To estimate the level of under-reporting of energy intake by gender, age, ethnicity and body size (normal, overweight, obese) in the 1997 National Nutrition Survey (NNS97) in New Zealand. Methods Data were from 4,258 participants (1,808 men and 2,450 women aged 15 years and over) who completed the 24-hour diet recall; the primary methodology used in the NNS97. Under-reporting was assessed using the ratio of reported energy intake to estimated resting metabolic rate (EI: RMRest). Cut-off limits were used to identify percentages of under-reporters in the various subgroups. Results Mean EI: RMRest was 1.40 for all participants (1.51 for men, 1.30 for women, p<0.001) with older age being associated with lower EI: RMRest (p<0.001). There were no significant differences in mean EI: RMRest between ethnic groups for men. Mean EI: RMRest for women were: Maori 1.46, European 1.29, and Pacific 1.37 (p<0.01). A larger body size was associated with a significantly lower EI: RMRest especially for women. Percentages of ‘definite’ under-reporters (individual EI: RMRest <0.9) were as follows: men 12%, women 21%; Europeans 16%, Maori 23% and Pacific 26%; normal weight (11%), overweight (19%) and obese (27%) participants; and from 10% in the youngest to 23% in the oldest age group (p<0.001 for all results). Conclusion In this study, in agreement with the literature, women, older people and obese people under-reported more than men, younger people and non-obese people. Possible ethnic differences in under-reporting rates need further study. Care is needed in interpreting the energy intake data from the NNS97.
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified