Public Health Nutrition

Research Paper

Characteristics of high and low energy reporting teenagers and their relationship to low energy reporting mothers

Karin Vågstranda1 p1 c1, Anna Karin Lindroosa2 and Yvonne Linnéa1

a1 Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

a2 MRC Human Nutrition Research, Cambridge, UK


Objective To describe the differences in socio-economic characteristics and body measurements between low, adequate and high energy reporting (LER, AER and HER) teenagers; furthermore, to investigate the relationship to misreporting mothers.

Design Cross-sectional study. Habitual dietary intake was reported in a questionnaire. Classification into LER, AER and HER using the Goldberg equation within three activity groups based on physical activity questionnaire and calculated BMR.

Setting Stockholm, Sweden.

Subjects Four hundred and forty-one 16–17-year-old teenagers (57 % girls) and their mothers.

Result Of the teenagers, 17–19 % were classified as HER, while 13–16 % as LER. There was a highly significant trend from HER to LER in BMI (P < 0·001) and body fat % (P < 0·001). There was also a trend in number of working hours of mother (P = 0·01), family income (P = 0·008) and number of siblings (among boys only) (P = 0·02), but not in educational level of either father or mother. HER teenagers were lean, had mothers working fewer hours with lower income and had siblings. It was more likely that an LER girl had an LER mother than an AER mother (OR = 3·32; P = 0·002).

Conclusions The reasons for the high number of over-reporters could be many: misclassification due to growth, lacking established eating pattern due to young age or method-specific. Nevertheless, the inverted characteristic of HER compared to LER indicates that this is a specific group, worth further investigation.

(Received August 30 2007)

(Accepted April 16 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Email

p1 Correspondence address: Obesity Unit, M73, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden