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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X

Abstract

COSTA, Mariana de M. F. et al. Within- and between-person variations as determinant factors to calculate the number of observations to estimate usual dietary intake of adolescents. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.4, pp. 541-548. ISSN 1415-790X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2008000400003.

This cross-sectional study describes the variation in the dietary intake of energy and macronutrients based on estimated coefficients of within- and between-person variation and intends to calculate the number of days required to evaluate the dietary intake of adolescents in Piracicaba, Brazil. The sample was made up by ninety-two adolescents aged between eleven and sixteen years. Interviews were performed to assess demographic, anthropometric and dietary variables, which were evaluated by the answers obtained through two 24-hour recalls. Descriptive analyses were performed and variances and Coefficients of variation within- and between-person were obtained by results of one-way ANOVA. The mean energy intake observed was 2,326.2 kilocalories; mean macronutrient intake came to 89.0 grams of fatty acids, 305.3 grams of carbohydrates and 82.2 grams of proteins. Coefficients of within-person variation ranged from 36% to 45%, while between-person coefficients varied from 26% to 31%. Variance ratios ranged from 1.35 (carbohydrate) to 2.62 (protein). The lowest number of observations required to correctly evaluate the usual diet calculated (r = 0.90) was six days, for carbohydrates while the highest was eleven, for proteins. Coefficients of variation were similar to those observed in international studies. We conclude that, in this study, two observations were sufficient to obtain reasonable correlations. However, six evaluations are necessary for these adolescents in order to obtain excellent correlations.

Keywords : Dietary intake; Variance ratios; Within-person variation; Between-person variation; Adolescents.

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