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Highlights from the August 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

n Sizes of Wedge-Shaped Foods
Accurately estimating portion sizes is essential in patient counseling and nutrition research, and registered dietitians often use "estimation aids" like rulers to assist their clients in determining how much they are eating. But many foods that are high in sugar, calories and saturated fats such as cake, pie and pizza often are served in wedge-shaped pieces, which studies have shown can make it difficult for people to estimate portions.

Researchers at Tennessee State University have developed an adjustable wedge and compared people's ability to estimate portion sizes using it and a ruler. The wedge was tested with 320 adults using different sizes and types of wedge-shaped foods. The findings show the adjustable wedge estimation aid does appear to reduce the average estimation error for some larger portions of wedge-shaped foods.

The researchers write that "substantial misestimation" by people using the adjustable wedge means "regardless of aid, some people have difficulty estimating portions of wedge-shaped foods." Still, they add: "The adjustable wedge was easy for people to use and can be recommended as an option for estimating portion size of wedge-shaped foods."

Low-Energy-Dense Diets are Associated with High Diet Quality
People who eat a low-energy-dense diet defined as relatively fewer calories per gram of food consume more food by weight but fewer overall calories than people who follow a high-energy-dense diet, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University. The study adds to a growing body of evidence indicating beneficial effects of a low-energy-dense or low-calorie diet.

The researchers studied reported food intakes of 7,500 adults who participated in the government's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals. Their diets were classified as low-energy-dense, medium-energy-dense and high-energy-dense. For each group, the percentage of peo
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Contact: Jennifer Starkey
jstarkey@eatright.org
312-899-4802
American Dietetic Association
1-Aug-2006


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