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Hebestreit, A.; Börnhorst, C.; Barba, G.; Siani, A.; Huybrechts, Inge; Tognon, G.; Eiben, G.; Moreno, Luis A.; Fernandez-Alvira, J. M.; Loit, H. M.; Kovacs, Eva; Tornaritis, M.; Krogh, V. (2014): Associations between energy intake, daily food intake and energy density of foods and BMI z-score in 2–9-year-old European children. In: European journal of nutrition, Vol. 53, No. 2: pp. 673-681
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Abstract

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between proxy-reported energy intake, daily food intake and energy density of foods and body mass index (BMI) z-score in 2–9-year-old European children. Methods From 16,225 children who participated in the identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants (IDEFICS) baseline examination, 9,782 children with 24-h proxy dietary information and complete covariate information were included in the analysis. Participating children were classified according to adapted Goldberg cutoffs: underreports, plausible energy reports and overreports. Energy intake, daily food intake and energy density of foods excluding noncaloric beverages were calculated for all eating occasions. Effect of energy intake, daily food intake and energy density of foods on BMI z-score was investigated using multilevel regression models in the full sample and subsample of plausible energy reports. Exposure variables were included separately; daily food intake and energy intake were addressed in a combined model to check for interactions. Results In the group of plausible energy reports (N = 8,544), energy intake and daily food intake were significantly positively associated with BMI z-score. Energy density of foods was not associated with BMI z-score. In the model including energy intake, food intake and an interaction term, only energy intake showed a significantly positive effect on BMI z-score. In the full sample (N = 9,782), only energy intake was significantly but negatively associated with BMI z-score. Conclusion Proxy-reporters are subject to misreporting, especially for children in the higher BMI levels. Energy intake is a more important predictor of unhealthy weight development in children than daily food intake.