Self-reported food intake decreases over recording period in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey

Stephen Whybrow* (Corresponding Author), Graham W Horgan, Jennie I Macdiarmid

*Corresponding author for this work

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7 Citations (Scopus)
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From 2008 the UK’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) changed the method of dietary data collection from a 7-d weighed diary to a 4-d unweighed diary, partly to reduce participant burden. This study aimed to test whether self-reported energy intake changed significantly over the 4-d recording period of the NDNS rolling programme. Analyses used data from the NDNS years 1 (2008/2009) to 8 (2015/2016) inclusive, from participants aged 13 y. and older. Dietary records from participants who reported unusual amounts of food and drink consumed on one or more days were excluded, leaving 6932 participants. Mean daily energy intake was 7107kJ (1698kcal), and there was a significant decrease of 164kJ (39kcal) between days one and four (P < 0.001). There was no significant interaction of sex or low-energy reporter status (estimated from the ratio of reported energy intake to BMR) with the change in reported energy intake. The decrease in reported energy intake on day four compared to day one was greater (P < 0.019) for adults with higher BMIs (>30kg/m2) than it was for leaner adults. Reported energy intake decreased over the 4-d recording period of the NDNS rolling programme suggesting that participants change their diet more, or report less completely, with successive days of recording their diet. The size of the effect was relatively minor, however.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-590
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number6
Early online date1 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by funding from the Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) programme of the Scottish Government. RESAS had no role in the design, analysis or writing of this article.


  • Diet Records
  • Energy Intake
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Diet Surveys
  • Energy intake
  • Diet records
  • Nutrition assessment
  • Diet surveys


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