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New approaches in assessing food intake in epidemiology

Conrad, Johanna; Koch, Stefanie A.J.; Nöthlings, Ute

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: September 2018 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 343–351
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000497
ASSESSMENT OF NUTRITIONAL AND METABOLIC STATUS: Edited by Dwight E. Matthews and Kristina Norman

Purpose of review A promising direction for improving dietary intake measurement in epidemiologic studies is the combination of short-term and long-term dietary assessment methods using statistical methods. Thereby, web-based instruments are particularly interesting as their application offers several potential advantages such as self-administration and a shorter completion time. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of new web-based short-term instruments and to describe their features.

Recent findings A number of web-based short-term dietary assessment tools for application in different countries and age-groups have been developed so far. Particular attention should be paid to the underlying database and the search function of the tool. Moreover, web-based instruments can improve the estimation of portion sizes by offering several options to the user.

Summary Web-based dietary assessment methods are associated with lower costs and reduced burden for participants and researchers, and show a comparable validity with traditional instruments. When there is a need for a web-based tool researcher should consider the adaptation of existing tools rather than developing new instruments. The combination of short-term and long-term instruments seems more feasible with the use of new technology.

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Correspondence to Dr Johanna Conrad, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Nutritional Epidemiology, University of Bonn, Endenicher Allee 11-13, 53115 Bonn, Germany. Tel: +49 228 732068; fax: +49 228 7360492; e-mail:

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