2013 Volume 23 Issue 3 Pages 178-186
Background: Information on within- and between-individual variation in energy and nutrient intake is critical for precisely estimating usual dietary intake; however, data from Japanese populations are limited.
Methods: We used dietary records to examine within- and between-individual variation by age and sex in the intake of energy and 31 selected nutrients among Japanese adults. We also calculated the group size required to estimate mean intake for a group and number of days required both to rank individuals within a group and to assess an individual’s usual intake, all with appropriate arbitrary precision. A group of Japanese women (younger: 30–49 years, n = 58; older: 50–69 years, n = 63) and men (younger: 30–49 years, n = 54; older: 50–76 years, n = 67) completed dietary records for 4 nonconsecutive days in each season (16 days in total).
Results: Coefficients of within-individual variation and between-individual variation were generally larger in the younger group than in the older group and in men as compared with women. The group size required to estimate a group’s mean intake, and number of days required to assess an individual’s usual intake, were generally larger for the younger group and for men. In general, a longer period was required to rank women and older adults.
Conclusions: In a group of Japanese adults, coefficients of within-individual variation and between-individual variation, which were used to estimate the group size and number of records required for adequate dietary assessment, differed by age, sex, and nutrient.