Misclassification of Fourth-Grade Children’s Participation in School-Provided Meals Based on Parental Responses Relative to Administrative Daily Records.
Sommaire de l'article
Although many studies have relied on parental responses concerning children's school-meal participation, few studies have evaluated parental response accuracy. We investigated misclassification of fourth-grade children's participation in school-meal programs based on parental responses relative to administrative daily records using cross-sectional study data collected for 3 school years (2004-05, 2005-06, and 2006-07) for 1,100 fourth-grade children (87% black; 52% girls) from 18 schools total in one district. Parents reported children's usual school-meal participation on paper consent forms. The district provided administrative daily records of individual children's school-meal participation. Researchers measured children's weight and height. "Usual participation" in breakfast/lunch was defined as ?50% of days. Parental responses misclassified 16.3%, 12.8%, 19.8%, and 4.7% of children for participation in breakfast, classroom breakfast, cafeteria breakfast, and lunch, respectively. Parental responses misclassified more children for participation in cafeteria than classroom breakfast (P=0.0008); usual-participant misclassification probabilities were less than nonusual-participant misclassification probabilities for classroom breakfast, cafeteria breakfast, and lunch (P<0.0001 for each) (two-proportion z tests). Parental responses concerning children's participation were more accurate for lunch than breakfast; parents overstated breakfast participation (both classroom and cafeteria) and lunch participation. Breakfast participation misclassification was not related to body mass index (P=0.41), sex (P=0.40), age (P=0.63), or socioeconomic status (P=0.21) (multicategory logistic regression controlling for school year, breakfast location, and school). Relying on parental responses concerning children's school-meal participation may hamper researchers' abilities to detect relationships that have policy implications for the child nutrition community. The use of administrative daily records of children's school-meal participation is recommended.