Best (but oft forgotten) practices: Sample size planning for powerful studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Given recent concerns regarding replicability and trustworthiness in several areas of science, it is vital to encourage researchers to conduct statistically rigorous studies. Achieving a high level of statistical power is one particularly important domain in which researchers can improve the quality and reproducibility of their studies. Although several factors influence statistical power, appropriate sample size planning is often under the control of the researcher and can result in powerful studies. However, the process of conducting sample size planning to achieve a specified level of desired statistical power is often complex and the literature can be difficult to navigate. This article aims to provide an approachable overview of statistical power and sample size planning, with emphasis on why statistical power is important for high-quality science. Thorough examples relevant to nutrition researchers are included to illustrate the process of sample size planning. Special consideration is also given to issues that may arise when conducting sample size planning in practice. The overarching goal is to provide nutrition researchers with the tools and expertise needed to conduct effective sample size planning for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-295
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • design
  • effect size
  • methodology
  • sample size
  • statistical power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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