2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

Variations in Diet Analysis by Novice Investigators
Francine E. Schafer* and Megan K. Hasse
Dr. Jerry Mayhew and Prof. Liz Jorn, Faculty Mentors

In order to evaluate the degree of variation in computer diet analysis, 32 Exercise Science majors utilized the MyPyramid computer software to assess the one-day diet recall of an adult male. Basic demographic data for the subject were provided in order to facilitate determination of the %RDA. Estimates for total caloric intakes ranged from 1,281 to 2,612 Kcal or 52% to 106% of the RDA. Macronutrient estimates for carbohydrates (95-312%), fats (50-1,023%), and protein (88-168%) exhibited similar inaccurate ranges. Macronutrient range estimates existed from a low for calcium (66-99%) to a high for iron (75-270%). Correlations among %RDAs indicated a moderate consistency in under- or overestimating all nutrients by the investigators. In conclusion, it appears that novice investigators can produce very large ranges on estimates of dietary intake when using the same computer analysis program. This could have serious implications for the objectivity of diet counseling.

Keywords: diet analysis, RDA, dietary intake, MyPyramid, nutrients, computer analysis, overestimation, underestimation

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 53-2
Location: VH 1000
Time: 3:00 pm

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