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Children's estimates of food portion size: the effect of timing of dietary interview on the accuracy of children's portion size estimates

  • E. Foster (a1), M. O'Keeffe (a2), J. N. S. Matthews (a2), J. C. Mathers (a1), M. Nelson (a3), K. L. Barton (a4), W. L. Wrieden (a4) and A. J. Adamson (a1)...
Abstract

For food intakes to be converted into nutrient intakes a measure or estimate of the amount of food consumed is required. A number of methods have been developed to assist subjects in providing an estimate of portion size. Children's ability to use perception, conceptualisation and memory skills to estimate food portion size has not been investigated systematically. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of the timing of a dietary interview on the accuracy of estimates of food portion sizes made by children, using food photographs, food models and an interactive portion size assessment system, developed for use with children and based on portion sizes of foods consumed by children. Children (n 108) aged 4–14 years were supplied with known quantities of foods and asked to estimate the portion size of each food using each of the three portion size assessment tools. Interviews took place (a) with the food in view, (b) just after the child had eaten the food or (c) 24 h after the child had eaten the food. There were no significant differences in children's ability to estimate food portion size (either as served or as eaten) with timing of interview. That is, children were as accurate in their estimates of portion size 24 h after consuming the food as when the food was in view. Under these conditions many children were able to estimate food portion size utilising perception, conceptualisation and memory skills.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Emma Foster, fax +44 191 2225581, email Emma.Foster@ncl.ac.uk
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1 JI Macdiarmid & JE Blundell (1997) Dietary underreporting: what people say about recording their food intake. Eur J Clin Nutr 51, 199200.

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5 MBE Livingstone & PJ Robson (2000) Measurement of dietary intake in children. Proc Nutr Soc 59, 279293.

6 AF Smith , JB Jobe & DJ Mingay (1991) Retrieval from memory of dietary information. Appl Cognit Psychol 5, 269296.

7 AM Armstrong , A MacDonald , IW Booth , RG Platts , RC Knibb & DA Booth (2000) Errors in memory for dietary intake and their reduction. Appl Cogn Psychol 14, 183191.

8 PB Crawford , E Obarzanek , J Morrison & ZI Sabry (1994) Comparative advantage of 3-day food records over 24-hour recall and 5-day food frequency validated by observation of 9- and 10-year-old girls. J Am Diet Assoc 94, 626630.

9 C Frobisher & SM Maxwell (2003) The estimation of food portion sizes: a comparison between using descriptions of portion sizes and a photographic food atlas by children and adults. J Hum Nutr Diet 16, 181188.

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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