Estimated portion sizes in a school-aged population

Sumaiya Patel, Avni Vyas, Adnan Custovic, Clare S. Murray

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    Objective To produce study-specific portion sizes for 11-year-old children in a population-based birth cohort and to compare these study-specific portion sizes with previously published children's portion sizes, to assess their relevance today. Design Two multiple-pass 24 h dietary recalls were taken. The Food Standard Agency's photographic food atlas was used to quantify intakes. Study-specific food portion sizes were calculated for each food group. Portion sizes were calculated for all children and separately for boys and girls. The nutrient intake from the 24 h dietary recalls was analysed using study-specific and published portion sizes for individual participants. Agreement was assessed using Pearson's correlation, intra-class correlation coefficients and the Bland-Altman method. Setting Birth cohort study, UK. Subjects Children (mean age 11·3 years, n 264) and parents/guardians. Results A total of 124 food portion sizes were calculated. Differences in portion weights between boys and girls were seen only for seven food items. There was a significant positive relationship (P <0·001) between intakes of each nutrient as determined by the two sets of portion sizes. Correlation coefficients ranged from 0·77 (protein) to 0·98 (β-carotene). The intra-class correlation coefficients showed good agreement between nutrient intakes determined by the study-specific and published portion sizes (P <0·001). Conclusions Nutrient intakes calculated using portion sizes from our population were similar to those calculated from portion size data collected in a national survey, despite being collected over a decade later. The present study adds to the small amount of evidence regarding portion sizes in UK children and shows agreement with previously published paediatric portion sizes. Copyright © 2012 The Authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2193-2201
    Number of pages8
    JournalPublic Health Nutrition
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


    • Children
    • Dietary records
    • Food diary
    • Food intake


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