Adults in All Body Mass Index Categories Underestimate Daily Energy Requirements

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Objective:To compare the difference between self-reported and calculated daily energy requirements of adults within different body mass index (BMI) categories.Methods:Adults (n = 978) self-reported daily energy requirements, demographic information, and height, weight, age, and physical activity level (PAL) to calculate total energy expenditure.Results:The main effects of BMI, gender, PAL, and dieting status on the difference between self-reported and calculated energy requirements for weight maintenance were significant (P < .05); age, race/ethnicity, level of education, and being in a health-related field had no effect. Individuals across all BMI categories underestimated their energy requirements, but obese individuals underestimated to the greatest degree. Males, current dieters, and those who reported a low-active or active PAL underestimated to the greatest extent in each category.Conclusions and Implications:There is a lack of basic nutrition knowledge about personal energy needs in individuals across all BMI categories regardless of age, race/ethnicity, level of education, or work/training in a health-related field.

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