Development of an online database of typical food portion sizes in Irish population groups

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Lyons, Jacqueline
Walton, Janette
Flynn, Albert
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Cambridge University Press
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The Irish Food Portion Sizes Database (available at describes typical portion weights for an extensive range of foods and beverages for Irish children, adolescents and adults. The present paper describes the methodologies used to develop the database and some key characteristics of the portion weight data contained therein. The data are derived from three large, cross-sectional food consumption surveys carried out in Ireland over the last decade: the National Children's Food Survey (2003–2004), National Teens' Food Survey (2005–2006) and National Adult Nutrition Survey (2008–2010). Median, 25th and 75th percentile portion weights are described for a total of 545 items across the three survey groups, split by age group or sex as appropriate. The typical (median) portion weights reported for adolescents and adults are similar for many foods, while those reported for children are notably smaller. Adolescent and adult males generally consume larger portions than their female counterparts, though similar portion weights may be consumed where foods are packaged in unit amounts (for example, pots of yoghurt). The inclusion of energy under-reporters makes little difference to the estimation of typical portion weights in adults. The data have wide-ranging applications in dietary assessment and food labelling, and will serve as a useful reference against which to compare future portion size data from the Irish population. The present paper provides a useful context for researchers and others wishing to use the Irish Food Portion Sizes Database, and may guide researchers in other countries in establishing similar databases of their own.
Databases , Typical portion sizes , Irish population groups
Lyons, J., Walton, J. and Flynn, A. (2013) 'Development of an online database of typical food portion sizes in Irish population groups', Journal of Nutritional Science, 2, e25. doi:10.1017/jns.2013.14
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