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Nutritional epidemiology


Jahns, Lisa; Carriquiry, Alicia; Arab, Lenore; Mroz, Thomas A.; & Popkin, Barry M. (2004). Nutritional epidemiology. Journal of Nutrition, 134(11), 3114-3120.


Within- and between-person variation in nutrient intake has been characterized in different adult populations, but little is known of country, age, or sex differences among children. The objectives of this study were as follows: 1) to describe the mean intake, within- and between-individual CV and variance ratios of nutrient intake among children ages 9–18 y old in Russia and the United States in 1996; 2) to compare the age and sex-related differences in nutrient intake variance within and between countries; and 3) to hypothesize about the feasibility of using within-individual variance estimates from one nationally representative sample to adjust the usual intake distributions in another nationally representative sample. Mean intakes of all nutrients except magnesium were significantly higher among U.S. children (P < 0.001); within-person variation was higher among the U.S. children, possibly indicating greater access to a wide array of foods. Strong differentials existed in variance components by sex in both countries, although not in the same direction, and differed by age in U.S. girls. Ratios of within- to between-person variance in 8 of 11 nutrients were lower among Russian (range: 0.9–1.6) than U.S. children (range: 1.4–1.7), suggesting that day-to-day bias may not affect Russian dietary recalls as strongly as in the United States. Researchers are encouraged to use these estimates to conduct sensitivity analyses of usual intake distributions in their own data when multiple days of data collection are not feasible.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Nutrition


Jahns, Lisa
Carriquiry, Alicia
Arab, Lenore
Mroz, Thomas A.
Popkin, Barry M.