The present study set out to explore the option of developing food portion size for nutritional labelling purposes using two European Union (EU) dietary surveys. The surveys were selected as they differed in (a) methodologies (food diary versus food frequency questionnaire), (b) populations (Irish National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS) versus a seven-country survey based on the pan EU study Food4Me), (c) food quantification (multiple options versus solely photographic album) and (d) duration (4 consecutive days versus recent month). Using data from these studies, portion size was determined for 15 test foods, where portion size was defined as the median intake of a target food when consumed. The median values of the portion sizes derived from both the NANS and Food4Me surveys were correlated (r = 0.823; p <0.00) and the mean of the two survey data sets were compared to US values from the Recognized as Customarily Consumed (RACC) database. There was very strong agreement across all food categories between the averaged EU and the US portion size (r = 0.947; p <0.00). It is concluded that notwithstanding the variety of approaches used for dietary survey data in the EU, the present data supports using a standardized approach to food portion size quantification for food labelling in the EU.
- food labelling
- portion size