Dietary Assessment Research Resources

Dietary Assessment Methods

Data Collection Resources

  • Dietary Assessment Primer
    Tool developed by NCI that helps researchers determine the best way to assess diet for any study in which estimates of group intakes are required.
  • Dietary Assessment Methodology [PDF - 523 KB]
    Review, authored by NCI staff, of individual-level intake assessment methods, advantages and disadvantages, and validity; selecting methods based on study designs and/or study populations.
  • Measurement Error Webinar Series
    This series of 12 videos recorded in 2011 was organized by collaborators from NCI, the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Gertner Institute, Texas A&M University, and Wake Forest University. The goal of the series is to provide an understanding of the sources and magnitudes of dietary measurement errors, how measurement error may affect estimates of usual dietary intake distributions, how measurement error may affect analyses of diet-health relationships, and how the effects of measurement error may be mitigated.
  • Dietary Assessment Calibration/Validation Registry
    The register contains studies and publications which compare dietary intake estimates from two or more dietary assessment methods.
  • Measures RegistryExternal Web Site Policy
    Searchable database of diet and physical activity measures relevant to childhood obesity developed by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.
  • National Children's Study (NCS) Diet Assessment Literature Review
    Evaluation of available methodology for measuring food, nutrient and dietary supplement intakes to determine which instruments would be most suitable for the various stages of life to be studied in the NCS.
  • Register of Validated Short Dietary Instruments
    Descriptive information about validated short instruments along with any associated validation studies and publications, and copies of the instruments themselves when available.

Data Collection Tools

  • Automated Self-administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24)
    ASA24 is a freely available web-based tool for epidemiologic, interventional, behavioral, or clinical research from NCI that enables multiple automatically coded self-administered 24-hour recalls and food records. There are U.S., Canadian, and Australian versions. ASA24 consists of a Respondent Web site used to collect recall and food record data in English or Spanish for the U.S. version and in English and French for the Canadian version. There is also a Researcher Web site used to manage study logistics and obtain data analyses. The ASA24 system can also be used by clinicians for diet assessment and nutritional counseling and educators for teaching about nutrition or dietary assessment.
  • Daily Food Checklist
    This machine scannable seven-day checklist instrument, developed by NCI, is a form of food record that does not rely on memory and has a relatively low respondent and investigator burden. It can be used as a stand-alone instrument or in conjunction with another dietary assessment instrument.
  • Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ)
    A free food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) developed by NCI staff for use by researchers, clinicians, or teachers. The latest DHQ version for the U.S. is the DHQ III; however, DHQ III does not yet have a Canadian version. The Canadian version of DHQ II is still available.
  • Short Dietary Assessment Instruments
    List of several short instruments developed by NCI staff that assess intake of fruits and vegetables, percentage energy from fat, fiber, added sugars, whole grains, calcium, dairy products, and red and processed meats.

Food Composition Databases

  • Food Intakes, U.S. Population, 2007-10
    Estimated means and percentiles of the distributions of food intake and the percentage of persons meeting recommendations for a range of sex-age groups in the U.S. population.
  • Food Patterns Equivalents Database (FPED)
    Database developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that converts foods and beverages in the Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies to 37 USDA Food Patterns components. FPED was formerly known as the MyPyramid Equivalents Database (MPED).
  • Food Sources
    The top food sources of various dietary components identified using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Both the percentage contribution and mean contribution of various foods are provided, with stratification by age group, gender, race/ethnicity, and family income.
  • Pyramid Servings Database for NHANES III
    A database designed by NCI to facilitate the examination of dietary data from the National Center for Health Statistics' Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-94) in terms of servings from each of The Food Guide Pyramid's major and minor food groups.

Diet Analysis Tools

  • Healthy Eating Index
    The HEI is a measure of diet quality, independent of quantity, that can be used to assess compliance with the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans and monitor changes in dietary patterns.
  • Usual Dietary Intakes
    Method to estimate usual dietary intakes of foods and nutrients, including the distribution of usual intake for a population or subpopulation, the effects of individual covariates on consumption, and prediction of individual intake for use in models that assess the relationship between diet and disease or other variables.

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Dietary Monitoring

Surveys & Related Resources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    A nationwide collection of population health surveys, coordinated by the CDC, that gathers information about the frequency of health behaviors and conditions, tracks progress toward health objectives, evaluates the effects of disease prevention activities, and assesses emerging health problems.
  • Catalogue of Surveillance SystemsExternal Web Site Policy
    One-stop access to more than 100 publicly available datasets relevant to childhood obesity research, developed by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research. NCI staff are the project leads for the development and maintenance of this tool.
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
    Studies designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.
  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
    The CDC's NHIS has monitored the health of the nation since 1957. NHIS data on a broad range of health topics are collected through personal household interviews.

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