Predictors of misreporting in an elderly population: the ‘Quality of life after 65’ study

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To evaluate the prevalence and identify some predictors of misreporting in an elderly Belgian population and to assess the effect of underreporting on estimated intakes of macronutrients and foods.


A 1-day food record was completed by 2083 adult men and women aged 65 years or more. Individuals whose energy intake was lower than 0.90 ≥ BMR (basal metabolic rate) were defined as underreporters. Overreporting was defined as energy intake greater than 2 ≥ BMR.


Underreporting and overreporting occurred in 13.6% and 7.9% of food records, respectively. Results from logistic regression models indicated that gender and body mass index (BMI) were predictors of misreporting. Whereas women were more likely to underreport energy intake, the prevalence of overreporting was higher in men. Underreporting was more prevalent among obese people and overreporting more prevalent in normal-weight subjects. Smoking status and education level did not predict underreporting; however, overreporting was more likely to occur in more highly educated subjects. A cultural difference in reporting of nutrient intakes was also found, with the percentage of underreporters being higher among Walloons compared with Flemish.


BMI seemed to be one of the most important factors in misreporting. This calls for special attention when dietary surveys are performed on obese or lean people.

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