Secular trends in reported portion size of food and beverages consumed by Irish adults

Type Article

Journal Article


S. A. O'Brien; M. B. E. Livingstone; B. A. McNulty; J. Lyons; J. Walton; A. Flynn; R. Segurado; M. Dean; M. Spence; T. A. McCaffrey; L. K. Pourshahidi; A. P. Nugent; E. R. Gibney

Year of publication



British Journal of Nutrition








The present analysis aimed to investigate the changes in the reported portion sizes (PS) of foods and beverages commonly consumed by Irish adults (18-64 years) from the North South Ireland Food Consumption Survey (NSIFCS) (1997-2001) and the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS) (2008-10). Food PS, which are defined as the weight of food (g) consumed per eating occasion, were calculated for comparable foods and beverages in two nationally representative cross-sectional Irish food consumption surveys and were published in NSIFCS and NANS. Repeated measure mixed model analysis compared reported food PS at the total population level as well as subdivided by sex, age, BMI and social class. A total of thirteen commonly consumed foods were examined. The analysis demonstrated that PS significantly increased for five foods ('white sliced bread', 'brown/wholemeal breads', 'all meat, cooked', 'poultry, roasted' and 'milk'), significantly decreased for three ('potatoes', 'chips/wedges' and 'ham, sliced') and did not significantly change for five foods ('processed potato products', 'bacon/ham', 'cheese', 'yogurt' and 'butter/spreads') between the NSIFCS and the NANS. The present study demonstrates that there was considerable variation in the trends in reported food PS over this period.