Nature of Variation in Diet

Walter Willett

in Nutritional Epidemiology

Second edition

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195122978
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864249 | DOI:

Series: Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Nature of Variation in Diet

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This chapter presents a conceptual background on the sources of variation in diet. It also assembles data on dietary variation. The daily variation in nutrient intake among free-living subjects has consistently proved to be large, although the magnitude varies according to nutrient. Measurements of dietary intake based on a single or small number of 24-hour recalls per subject may provide a reasonable estimate of the mean for a group, but the standard deviation will be greatly overestimated.

Keywords: nutritional epidemiology; diet variation; nutrient intake; standard deviation; daily variation

Chapter.  6882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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