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J Nutr. 2006 Nov;136(11):2916-20.

the potential of AGE MODE, an age-dependent model, to estimate usual intakes and prevalences of inadequate intakes in a population.

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Center for Nutrition and Health, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Dietary intake data often stem from short-term measurements. However, for dietary assessment, generally the habitual intake distribution is of interest. Currently, habitual intake distributions are often estimated separately for subgroups of gender and age and do not take into account the variation in intake caused by age within age groups. Therefore, we developed an age-dependent dietary assessment model, which was demonstrated and tested using folate intakes from the third Dutch National Food Consumption Survey, conducted in 1997/98. The proposed model produced estimates of the mean habitual intake and intake percentiles as a function of age. The methodology has clear advantages in estimating habitual intakes in children. Also, given the large variation in intakes of several dietary components, estimated habitual intakes produced by other methods may have low precision and be less reliable if numbers are small. In our age-dependent model, all available data can be used to estimate the parameters of the habitual intake distribution, improving the precision of the estimates, and providing consistent estimates for a larger population sample as no subgroups need to be created. Although the model may still be further developed, the feature of age dependency shows clear advantages above methods currently used to estimate habitual intakes.

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