Interviewer BMI effects on under- and over-reporting of restrained eating: Evidence from a national Dutch face-to-face survey and a postal follow-up
Number of pages
SourceInternational Journal of Public Health, 57, 3, (2012), pp. 643-647
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SW OZ BSI OGG
International Journal of Public Health
SubjectDevelopmental Psychopathology; Inequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Objectives To determine the effect of interviewer BMI on self-reported restrained eating in a face-to-face survey and to examine under- and over-reporting using the face-to face study and a postal follow-up. Methods A sample of 1,212 Dutch adults was assigned to 98 interviewers with different BMI who administered an eating questionnaire. To further evaluate misreporting a mail follow-up was conducted among 504 participants. Data were analyzed using two-level hierarchical models. Results Interviewer BMI had a positive effect on restrained eating. Normal weight and pre-obese interviewers obtained valid responses, underweight interviewers stimulated underreporting whereas obese interviewers triggered overreporting. Conclusion In face-to-face interviews self-reported dietary restraint is distorted by interviewer BMI. This result has implications for public health surveys, the more so given the expanding obesity epidemic.
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