Poster Presentation

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
2:45 PM - 3:30 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation I
ADolescent identification and Estimation of Appropriate Portion Size
Barbara H. Schaffner, PhD, CNP and Marjorie Vogt, PhD, CNP. Nursing, Otterbein College, Westerville, OH, USA
Learning Objective #1: Identify adolescent's knowledge of correct portion sizes.
Learning Objective #2: Identify adolescent's knowledge of practical Portion Size Measurement Aids (PSMAs) for learning correct dietary portion sizes.

Childhood and adolescent obesity is a rapidly growing health concern in the United States.  Many chronic health problems associated with weight gain are occurring in alarming rates.  Children who are overweight as adolescents are often overweight as adults.             Research on childhood and adolescent obesity has focused on factors influencing weight excess, including age, gender, satiety, availability of food and lifestyle.  Researchers have studied the estimation of portion sizes by children and adults, although less is known about the knowledge of the adolescent.  There is limited knowledge related to adolescent identification of appropriate serving size for their age. 

Research questions:  what is the effect of age, gender, satiety, chronic illness and body mass index on adolescent identification of appropriate serving size and estimation of appropriate serving size?

Sixty five healthy adolescents were recruited during sports physicals.  IRB approval was obtained.

Students chose the correct portion size & quantified the portion selected from a display of meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, pasta, milk, soda and a snack food.  Students matched a practical Portion Size Measurement Aids (PSMAs) with an actual quantity of food.  Data included height/weight, history of chronic illness and satiety scale.  Study limitations included a convenient sample with healthy normal weight adolescents.

Results indicated 22.8% reported they were “hungry”.  Few adolescents chose the correct portion size, best identification was milk and pasta servings.  Few adolescents correctly matched a portion size to PSMAs.  No significant difference was identified in ability to choose correct portion size or ability to match a portion size to commonly used PSMA’s by age, gender, ethnicity, BMI or satiety levels.             Health professionals discussing nutrition with adolescents should not assume that they know how much to eat.  Adolescent nutrition education should emphasize quantity AND quality of foods.  Further research needs to investigate knowledge of portion sizes in all populations.