Background/Aims: Despite the important role of core foods in diet quality and energy intake, little is known about portion sizes of core foods. To examine the typical portion sizes of commonly consumed core foods in Australian adults, and to compare these data with the ADG standard serve.
Methods: Typical portion sizes are defined as the amounts of foods consumed at one eating occasion. Age- and sex-specific median portion sizes and interquartile range (grams) of adults aged 19 years and over (n=9341) were analysed using 24hour recall data from the 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Percentage differences between median portion sizes and the ADG standard serve were calculated.
Results: Ninety-seven core food categories were examined. Significant sex and age differences in median portion sizes were found in 57% of foods studied. Greatest variations in portion sizes were observed for amorphous foods such as cooked rice, oats, milk and water. Median portion sizes of breads and cereals, meat and chicken cuts, and starchy vegetables were consistently larger than their standard serves (difference between portion size and standard serve, 30% to 160%). In contrast, the portion sizes of dairy products, some fruits, and non-starchy vegetables were smaller than their standard serves (-30% to -90%).
Conclusions: Our analysis revealed significant age and sex differences in portion sizes of core foods, and discrepancies between core food portion sizes and the ADG standard serve among Australian adults. These findings are particularly relevant for development of guidance and policies regarding portion size.
Funding source(s): NHF