Variation in the diets of Filipino women over 9 months of continuous observation

John L. Beard, Laura E. Murray-Kolb, Frank Lawrence, Angelina Felix, Angelita del Mundo, Jere D. Haas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. The variability in habitual intakes of most components in the Philippine diet is unknown. Objective. To perform a quantitative evaluation of the traditional Philippine diet using data collected over an extended period of time. We sought to identify seasonal variations and within-subject components of variation in nutrient intake. Methods. A quantitative evaluation of the Philippine diet was conducted in convents in metropolitan Manila as part of an efficacy trial to examine biofortified rice as an approach to improve iron nutritional status. Weighed food intakes were conducted on 54 days in each of more than 300 religious sisters over 9 months in 10 convents. The sisters consumed their habitual diets except for the substitution of one variety of rice for another. Results. More than 40% of calories were derived from rice, with protein from meat and fish comprising 18% of calories. There were significant variations in macronutrient and micronutrient intakes across seasons of the year, with more rice consumed in the wet season and more fruits, eggs, milk, and beverages consumed in the dry season. The day-to-day within-subject variation (CV) in median intake was 23% for energy, 31% for protein, 42% for iron, and 138% for vitamin A. Conclusions. These novel data show that traditional Filipino dietary patterns have substantial individual variation and are inadequate in certain micronutrients. This quantitative evaluation of diet can provide a reference point for dietary adequacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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