History of the Diet History Questionnaire
Looking for the current Canadian version of DHQ?
This page briefly reviews the evolution of the Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ), developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) initially in 2001, to the DHQ II in 2010, up to the present version, DHQ III, launched in 2018.
The original paper-based DHQ (DHQ I) was created in 2001 by staff in the Risk Factor Assessment Branch (RFAB) in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences. DHQ I was available in both English and Spanish. A web-based version was launched in 2005. The nutrient and food group database for DHQ I was based on national dietary intake data from the 1994-96 U.S. Department of Agriculture's Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (CSFII). These 24-hour dietary recall data were used to decide which foods to include on the DHQ and what the portion sizes should be.
The DHQ I was modified for use in Canada through the collaborative efforts of NCI’s Dr. Amy Subar and Dr. Ilona Csizmadi, and colleagues in the Division of Population Health and Information at the Alberta Cancer Board in Canada.
Three studies were conducted to evaluate the DHQ I; findings indicated that DHQ I provided reasonable nutrient estimates. Learn more about the validation studies.
In 2010, DHQ II was released. The DHQ II nutrient and food group database was based on a compilation of national 24-hour dietary recall data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) conducted in 2001-02, 2003-04, and 2005-06. These 24-hour dietary recall data were used to decide which foods to include on the DHQ and what the portion sizes should be.
In collaboration with researchers in Canada, a Canadian version of the DHQ II was created based on the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) 24-hour dietary recall data and released in 2013.
The newest version of the FFQ, DHQ III, was released in March 2018 and is only available for administration in a web-based format. The nutrient and food group database [CSV - 2.30 MB] for DHQ III is based on a compilation of national 24-hour dietary recall data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) conducted in 2007-08, 2009-10, 2011-12, and 2013-14.
A Canadian version of the DHQ III is in development, but at the present time, researchers in Canada should continue to use DHQ II-Canada.