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Season-related variation in dietary recalls used in a paediatric population

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Abstract Background: 

The effect of seasonality in estimating population mean nutrient intake using a single dietary recall has not been fully explored. The present study aimed to evaluate variation in energy and nutrient intake using a single 24-h recall between two seasons (spring/summer and autumn/winter) in a sample of children and adolescents. Methods: 

A randomly selected subgroup (n = 623) of a representative sample of 3–18-year-old Greek children and adolescents was used in the present analysis. Information on participants’ socio-demographic characteristics, body weight/height and dietary intake were collected through telephone interviews. Dietary assessment was based on two 24-h recalls (the first during the spring/summer season and the second 6 months later, during autumn/winter season). Results: 

Reported daily energy intake in spring/summer was 344 ± 130 kJ (82 ± 31 kcal) higher compared to the one in autumn/winter after adjusting for potential confounders (P = 0.008). However, the contribution of the macronutrients to the total energy intake was not statistically different between the two periods and the same was also true for vitamin C and calcium. The results remained unchanged after excluding low energy reporters. Conclusions: 

The use of a second 24-h recall in a different season of the year does not confer additional information with regard to a population assessment of macronutrient contribution to the total energy intake in paediatric samples; its use appears to be justified in the light of a more accurate assessment of energy intake.

Keywords: children; dietary assessment; dietary survey; nutrient intake; season

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece 2: ‘Aristides Daskalopoulos’ Foundation, Athens, Greece

Publication date: October 1, 2010


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