Dietary Assessment Research Resources

Dietary Assessment Methods

Dietary Collection Resources

  • 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, a public-private partnership supported in part by NIH.
  • Dietary Assessment Calibration/Validation Registry
    The register contains studies and publications which compare dietary intake estimates from two or more dietary assessment methods.
  • 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 and published in 2017, 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 provides 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.
  • Measures Registry Resource SuiteExternal Web Site Policy
    The Measures Registry Resource Suite offers research tools that span four domains of childhood obesity research (diet, physical activity, food environment, and physical activity environment) and includes the Measures Registry, Measures Registry User Guides, Measures Registry Learning Modules, and Measures for Children at High Risk for Obesity Decision Tree. The Suite was developed by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, a public-private partnership supported in part by NIH.
  • 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. 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.
  • Short Dietary Assessment Instruments
    Compilation of short instruments developed by NCI staff and others 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 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).
  • 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.
  • What We Eat in America Food Categories
    The top food sources of various dietary components can be identified using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The What We Eat in America Food Categories provide an application to analyze foods and beverages as consumed in the American diet. View a sample analysis of top food sources using NHANES data from 2003-2006.

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 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and monitor changes in dietary patterns.
  • Standardized Method for Estimating Intakes of Processed Red Meat and Processed Poultry
    The Processed Meat Categories method is a SAS program that offers researchers a standardized method of estimating various red meat and poultry categories.
  • 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. Website also includes examples of this method applied to 2001-2004 and 2007-2010 food intake data, including 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.
  • World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Score
    The WCRF/AICR Score is a standardized scoring system that can be used by researchers to assess adherence to the WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations and examine associations with cancer and other health-related outcomes.