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Keywords:

  • dietary surveys;
  • food photographs;
  • food portion size

Background: Although it is generally accepted that a weighed intake is the most valid way of assessing nutrient intake, this is not always the most appropriate method. Photographs have been suggested as a useful aid in assessing portion size when other methods of recording dietary intake are used.Method: Male and female subjects (n=100) were recruited to assess portion sizes of served amounts of mashed potato or cornflakes using food photographs. A second group of subjects (n=40) were recruited to assess portion sizes of self-served mashed potato or cornflakes using the same photographs.Results: Estimates varied from −70.6% underestimation to +198.7% overestimation for mashed potato, with less variation for the cornflakes where portions were served.?‚?? Where the food was self-served, results ranged from −38% and −64% underestimation to +61% and +88% overestimation for cornflakes and mashed potato, respectively.Correlation coefficients between estimated and actual weights of food showed them to be of statistical significance (P<0.05).Conclusion: Food photographs are a useful and convenient aid in the estimation of food portion sizes.