among women than men, and is higher among overweight and obese adults (Johnson, 2000).
Other factors associated with underreporting include perceived social desirability of intake patterns, body image dissatisfaction, dieting, and greater eating restraint (Maurer et al., 2006). Social desirability may influence not only self-reported total energy intake, but also the likelihood of underreporting socially undesirable food intake patterns such as the consumption of high-fat, high-sugar foods and beverages (Maurer et al., 2006). On the other hand, social desirability of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can result in overreporting (Maurer et al., 2006).
Misreporting of food intake may result from errors in the estimation of portion sizes, inability or unwillingness to record or remember everything that was eaten, unintentional omission of certain foods or portions, and deliberate misreporting. Engaging in the recording process or anticipating the report of food intake may cause an individual to temporarily change the way he or she eats (Maurer et al., 2006). It is also more difficult to remember what was eaten between meals, which is an issue for children and adolescents who may snack frequently. Dietary intake research on young children also presents special challenges; the child’s parent or teacher may be relied on to recall the child’s intake, thus introducing a third party and further complicating the assessment process (Goran, 1998).