Dietary underreporting in women affected by polycystic ovary syndrome: A pilot study

Rachele De Giuseppe, Valentina Braschi, David Bosoni, Ginevra Biino, Fatima C. Stanford, Rossella E. Nappi, Hellas Cena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The first-line therapy for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is weight loss focussing on diet and regular exercise; measurement of diet and energy intake (EI) is important to determine associations between nutrients and health in women with PCOS. The EI underreporting (UR) is a condition characterised by reports of habitual EI that is implausibly low, compared with estimated requirements. This case–control study aims to evaluate UR in women with PCOS. Methods: Thirty-six women with PCOS were enrolled according to the Rotterdam criteria; 37 healthy women were enrolled as controls. Inclusion criteria: age range 18–45 and body mass index ≥18.5 kg/m2 in subjects without eating disorders and/or diabetes mellitus. Nutritional assessment included: anthropometry, basal metabolic rate (BMR), weight history and physical activity assessment. Subjects completed a non-consecutive three-day dietary diary to identify energy and macronutrient intake. UR was calculated (Goldberg Index: EI/BMR). Results: Although women with PCOS reported a significantly higher mean BMR than controls (P < 0.0001), their EI was lower (P < 0.001), suggesting an UR in 47.2% of women with PCOS versus 2.7% of controls (P < 0.0001). The EI from simple sugars was lower in women with PCOS than controls (P < 0.01). The protein intake was increased in controls than women with PCOS (P < 0.0001). Weight cycling was more frequent in women with PCOS (P < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis identified UR associated with PCOS (P = 0.001). Conclusions: Women with PCOS underreport foods rich in simple sugars rather than underreport their total dietary intake. These results may have implications for the interpretation of diet and health correlations in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • basal metabolic rate
  • dietary underreporting
  • energy intake
  • misreporting
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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