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      Energy balance measurement: when something is not better than nothing.

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          Energy intake (EI) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) are key modifiable determinants of energy balance, traditionally assessed by self-report despite its repeated demonstration of considerable inaccuracies. We argue here that it is time to move from the common view that self-reports of EI and PAEE are imperfect, but nevertheless deserving of use, to a view commensurate with the evidence that self-reports of EI and PAEE are so poor that they are wholly unacceptable for scientific research on EI and PAEE. While new strategies for objectively determining energy balance are in their infancy, it is unacceptable to use decidedly inaccurate instruments, which may misguide health-care policies, future research and clinical judgment. The scientific and medical communities should discontinue reliance on self-reported EI and PAEE. Researchers and sponsors should develop objective measures of energy balance.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Physical activity assessment with accelerometers: an evaluation against doubly labeled water.

          This review focuses on the ability of different accelerometers to assess daily physical activity as compared with the doubly labeled water (DLW) technique, which is considered the gold standard for measuring energy expenditure under free-living conditions. The PubMed Central database (U.S. NIH free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature) was searched using the following key words: doubly or double labeled or labeled water in combination with accelerometer, accelerometry, motion sensor, or activity monitor. In total, 41 articles were identified, and screening the articles' references resulted in one extra article. Of these, 28 contained sufficient and new data. Eight different accelerometers were identified: 3 uniaxial (the Lifecorder, the Caltrac, and the CSA/MTI/Actigraph), one biaxial (the Actiwatch AW16), 2 triaxial (the Tritrac-R3D and the Tracmor), one device based on two position sensors and two motion sensors (ActiReg), and the foot-ground contact pedometer. Many studies showed poor results. Only a few mentioned partial correlations for accelerometer counts or the increase in R(2) caused by the accelerometer. The correlation between the two methods was often driven by subject characteristics such as body weight. In addition, standard errors or limits of agreement were often large or not presented. The CSA/MTI/Actigraph and the Tracmor were the two most extensively validated accelerometers. The best results were found for the Tracmor; however, this accelerometer is not yet commercially available. Of those commercially available, only the CSA/MTI/Actigraph has been proven to correlate reasonably with DLW-derived energy expenditure.
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            Assessment of physical activity - a review of methodologies with reference to epidemiological research: a report of the exercise physiology section of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

            Physical activity has a fundamental role in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. The precise measurement of physical activity is key to many surveillance and epidemiological studies investigating trends and associations with disease. Public health initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity rely on the measurement of physical activity to monitor their effectiveness. Physical activity is multidimensional, and a complex behaviour to measure; its various domains are often misunderstood. Inappropriate or crude measures of physical activity have serious implications, and are likely to lead to misleading results and underestimate effect size. In this review, key definitions and theoretical aspects, which underpin the measurement of physical activity, are briefly discussed. Methodologies particularly suited for use in epidemiological research are reviewed, with particular reference to their validity, primary outcome measure and considerations when using each in the field. It is acknowledged that the choice of method may be a compromise between accuracy level and feasibility, but the ultimate choice of tool must suit the stated aim of the research. A framework is presented to guide researchers on the selection of the most suitable tool for use in a specific study.
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              Energy balance and its components: implications for body weight regulation.


                Author and article information

                Int J Obes (Lond)
                International journal of obesity (2005)
                Jul 2015
                : 39
                : 7
                [1 ] Infection and Obesity Laboratory, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.
                [2 ] Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.
                [3 ] Nutrition Obesity Research Center & Office of Energetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
                [4 ] Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.
                [5 ] Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA.
                [6 ] The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark and Institute of Preventive Medicine, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals-Part of Copenhagen University Hospital, The Capital Region, Denmark.
                [7 ] Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom and Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
                [8 ] Nutrition Obesity Research Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL USA.
                ijo2014199 NIHMS643264


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