Portion and Serving Sizes of Commonly Consumed Foods, in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria
The concept of portion size of foods consumed at a sitting and the serving sizes are important in efficient conduct of food consumption or dietary intake studies. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was adopted in Ibadan South-West and Ibadan North West local Government Areas of Oyo state and an interviewer-administered questionnaire including a 24-hour dietary recall section was the main tool for data collection. Portion sizes were determined from weight equivalents of each food type consumed, average portion sizes for each food type were determined using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 16, and nutrient intakes were determined using an adapted Total Dietary Assessment (TDA) software. Amounts of starchy food and fruits that will provide 15g carbohydrate, vegetables that will provide 5g carbohydrate, meat that will provide 7g protein and 5g fat were considered “a single serving” based on the food exchange list. Serving sizes were then expressed in easily recognizable household measures. Portion and Serving Sizes of commonly consumed Nigerian foods were thus determined. Four hundred and thirteen (413) adult males and females, with a mean age (SD) of 41.5 (14.4) yr participated in this study and majority (76.27%) were married. Occupation included traders (38.26%), artisans (27.20%) and private company workers (10.17%). Overall, subjects consumed a number of servings that ranged from a minimum of 2.4 (Maize pap) to a maximum of 18.4 servings (Semolina) in the cereal and grain group; a minimum of 0.9 (fried plantain) to a maximum of 6.5 (Lafun) within the starchy root and tuber group; 1.4 (Moinmoin) to 4.5 (cooked beans) in the legume group. Serving sizes determined: a serving of the various foods as expressed in household measures include; 1.3 slices of bread, 13.5 tablespoons of Ewedu soup, 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil stew, and 2/3 a small wrap (73.7g) of yam-based Amala, amongst others. This knowledge of “serving sizes” in relation to the nutrient content if well-known, is useful to individuals as a tool to better determine amounts of foods eaten to ensure nutrient adequacy, promote health and reduce the risk of developing diet-related chronic diseases.
Key words: portion sizes, serving sizes, Nigerian foods, dietary recall, diet-related chronic diseases