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J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 May;104(5):804-6.

Accuracy of estimation of large food portions.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, University of Minnesota, 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.


To examine accuracy of reporting of large food portions, 50 adults were invited to eat a restaurant meal that included a hamburger patty, french fries, and ice cream. After eating, participants were asked to estimate the amount of food consumed using commonly used and larger-sized food models as a guide. With the use of commonly used models, underreporting was evident for all three foods. For example, the amount of hamburger patty consumed was on average 4.01 oz, although the average amount reported was 3.04 oz (P<.05). When larger-sized models were used, the amount reported more closely matched the amount consumed, although underreporting persisted for the hamburger patty and french fries. In summary, significant underreporting of large food portions may result when commonly used food models are used to assist individuals in reporting food portions.

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