Background: Packed lunch is the dominant lunch format in many countries including Denmark. School lunch is consumed unsupervised, and self-reported recalls are appropriate in the school setting. However, little is known about the accuracy of recalls in relation to packed lunch. Objective: To assess the qualitative recall accuracy of self-reported consumption of packed lunch among Danish 11-year-old children in relation to gender and dietary assessment method. Design: A cross-sectional dietary recall study of packed lunch consumption. Digital images (DIs) served as an objective reference method to determine food items consumed. Recalls were collected with a lunch recall questionnaire (LRQ) comprising an open-ended recall (OE-Q) and a pre-coded food group prompted recall (PC-Q). Individual interviews (INTs) were conducted successively. The number of food items was identified and accuracy was calculated as match rates (% identified by DIs and reported correctly) and intrusion rates (% not identified by DIs but reported) were determined. Setting and subjects: Three Danish public schools from Copenhagen. A total of 114 Danish 11-year-old children, mean (SE) age = 11.1 (0.03), and body mass index = 18.2 (0.26). Results: The reference (DIs) showed that girls consumed a higher number of food items than boys [mean (SE) 5.4 (0.25) vs. 4.6 (0.29) items (p=0.05)]. The number of food items recalled differed between genders with OE-Q recalls (p=0.005) only. Girls’ interview recalls were more accurate than boys’ with higher match rates (p=0.04) and lower intrusion rates (p=0.05). Match rates ranged from 6790% and intrusion rates ranged from 1339% with little differences between girls and boys using the OE-Q and PC-Q methods. Conclusion: Dietary recall validation studies should not only consider match rates as an account of accuracy. Intrusions contribute to over-reporting in non-validation studies, and future studies should address recall accuracy and inaccuracies in relation to gender and recall method.
Food and Nutrition Research, 2013, Vol 57, Issue Supplements