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J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018 Sep;118(9):1711-1718. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.02.014. Epub 2018 May 8.

Portion Sizes from 24-Hour Dietary Recalls Differed by Sex among Those Who Selected the Same Portion Size Category on a Food Frequency Questionnaire.



Accounting for sex differences in food portions may improve dietary measurement; however, this factor has not been well examined.


The aim of this study was to examine sex differences in reported food portions from 24-hour dietary recalls (24HDRs) among those who selected the same portion size category on a quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ).


This study was conducted with a cross-sectional design.


Participants (n=319) were members of the Hawaii-Los Angeles Multiethnic Cohort who completed three 24HDRs and a QFFQ in a calibration study conducted in 2010 and 2011.


Portions of individual foods reported from 24HDRs served as the outcome measures.


Mean food portions from 24HDRs were compared between men and women who reported the same portion size on the QFFQ, after adjustment for race/ethnicity using a linear regression model. Actual amount and the assigned amount of the selected portion size in the QFFQ were compared using one-sample t test for men and women separately.


Of 163 food items with portion size options listed in the QFFQ, 32 were reported in 24HDRs by ≥20 men and ≥20 women who selected the same portion size in the QFFQ. Although they chose the same portion size on the QFFQ, mean intake amounts from 24HDRs were significantly higher for men than for women for "beef/lamb/veal," "white rice," "brown/wild rice," "lettuce/tossed salad," "eggs cooked/raw," "whole wheat/rye bread," "buns/rolls," and "mayonnaise in sandwiches." For men, mean portions of 14 items from the 24HDRs were significantly different from the assigned amounts for QFFQ items (seven higher and seven lower), whereas for women, mean portions of 14 items were significantly lower from the assigned amounts (with five significantly higher).


These sex differences in reported 24HDR food portions-even among participants who selected the same portion size on the QFFQ-suggest that the use of methods that account for differences in the portions consumed by men and women when QFFQs are quantified may provide more accurate absolute dietary intakes.


24-Hour dietary recall; Food frequency questionnaire; Hawaii–Los Angeles Multiethnic Cohort Study; Portion size; Sex


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