The Impact of Weight Bias and Stigma on the 24 h Dietary Recall Process in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Pilot Study

Abstract

People with overweight and obesity tend to both underreport dietary energy intake and experience weight stigma. This exploratory pilot study aimed to determine the relationship between weight bias and weight stigma and energy intake reporting accuracy. Thirty-nine weight-stable adults with BMI ≥ 25 completed three 24 h dietary recalls; indirect calorimetry to measure resting metabolic rate; a survey measuring weight stigma, psychosocial constructs, and physical activity; and a semi-structured qualitative interview. Multiple linear regression was used to determine if weight bias internalization, weight bias toward others, and experiences of weight stigma were predictive of the accuracy of energy reporting. A thematic analysis was conducted for the qualitative interviews. Weight stigma was reported by 64.1% of the sample. Weight stigma constructs did not predict the accuracy of energy intake reporting. People with obesity underreported by a mean of 477 kcals (p = 0.02). People classified as overweight overreported by a mean of 144 kcals, but this was not significant (p = 0.18). Participants reported a desire to report accurate data despite concerns about reporting socially undesirable foods. Future research should quantify the impact of weight stigma on energy reporting in 24 h recalls using a larger, more diverse sample size and objective measures like doubly labeled water for validation.

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Howes, E.M.; Parker, M.K.; Misyak, S.A.; DiFeliceantonio, A.G.; Davy, B.M.; Brown, L.E.C.; Hedrick, V.E. The Impact of Weight Bias and Stigma on the 24 h Dietary Recall Process in Adults with Overweight and Obesity: A Pilot Study. Nutrients 2024, 16, 191.