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Energy balance measurement: when something is not better than nothing

OPEN International journal of obesity (2005) | 14 Nov 2014

NV Dhurandhar, D Schoeller, AW Brown, SB Heymsfield, D Thomas, TI Sørensen, JR Speakman, M Jeansonne and DB Allison
Abstract
Energy intake (EI) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) are key modifiable determinants of energy balance, traditionally assessed by self-report despite its repeated demonstration of considerable inaccuracies. We argue here that it is time to move from the common view that self-reports of EI and PAEE are imperfect, but nevertheless deserving of use, to a view commensurate with the evidence that self-reports of EI and PAEE are so poor that they are wholly unacceptable for scientific research on EI and PAEE. While new strategies for objectively determining energy balance are in their infancy, it is unacceptable to use decidedly inaccurate instruments, which may misguide health care policies, future research, and clinical judgment. The scientific and medical communities should discontinue reliance on self-reported EI and PAEE. Researchers and sponsors should develop objective measures of energy balance.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 13 November 2014. doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.199.
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Concepts
Mathematics, Medicine, Obesity, Health care, Science, Scientific method, Research
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