Hunger ratings are not a valid proxy measure of reported food intake in humans

Richard D Mattes


Hunger ratings have been used as proxy measures of food intake although their validity has not been established. To address this issue, 12 female and 12 male adults of normal weight recorded food intake and hunger ratings every waking hour for 7 consecutive days. Discrepancies were noted in the correlation between hunger ratings and computed energy intake on weekdays vs. weekends, and no significant correlations were observed for individual subjects. Eating often occurred when hunger ratings were low or had not increased, and few individuals displayed a significant correlation between hunger ratings and number of eating occurrences. It was concluded that hunger ratings are not a valid index of energy intake computed from food records or number of eating occurrences.


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