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Journal of the American Dietetic Association

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The elderly are a growing population; however, limited information concerning energy requirements of the elderly is available. Dietary intake data have been collected in research and clinical settings to determine the intakes of energy and nutrients, but the accuracy of dietary intake data has been difficult to verify. Studies using doubly labeled water have suggested that dietary energy intake is underreported by obese subjects (1), adolescents (2), and athletes (3). Diet records were collected for 6 to 14 days in these studies (1), (2), (3). Elderly subjects have also underreported energy intake compared with total energy expenditure (TEE), either measured (4), (5), (6) or predicted (7). However, these studies only collected dietary data for 3 or 4 days, while energy expenditure was measured for 10 to 14 days using doubly labeled water. It is generally accepted that a major source of random variation in dietary energy can be ascribed to a person's day-to-day variation in energy consumption, which averages 20% to 30% (8). This random variation decreases as the square root of the number of study days increases, such that it is approximately 10% for a 7-day record (9). Thus, some of the variability in self-reported energy intake may be attributable to the limited number of observations taken in previous studies of elderly women. To our knowledge, a comparison of TEE using doubly labeled water and concurrent diet records for a full week for elderly women has not been reported previously. The purpose of our study was to determine whether a complete recording of dietary intake would improve the accuracy of and reduce the individual variation in self-reported dietary energy intake compared with energy expenditure measurements using doubly labeled water.


Accepted version. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 98, No. 5 (May 1998): 574-576. DOI. © 1998 Elsevier. Used with permission.

R. J. Gretebeck was affiliated with Purdue University at the time of publication.

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