Purpose of review
Accurate assessment of dietary intake in interventional trials is the key to evaluate changes in dietary behaviour and compliance. We evaluated the use of dietary assessment tools in randomized trials on diet-based interventions in pregnancy by a systematic review.
We updated our previous search (until January 2012) on trials of diet and lifestyle interventions in pregnancy using Medline and EMBASE up to December 2015. Two independent reviewers undertook study selection and data extraction. We assessed the characteristics of dietary assessment tools, the timing and frequency of use and any validation undertaken.
Two-thirds (39/58, 67%) of the included studies used some form of tools to assess dietary intake. Multiple days’ food diaries were the most commonly used (23/39, 59%). Three studies (3/39, 8%) validated the used tools in a pregnant population. Three studies (3/39, 8%) prespecified the criteria for adherence to the intervention. The use of dietary assessment tools was not associated with study quality, year of publication, journal impact factor, type of journal and the study sample size.
Although self-reporting dietary assessment tools are widely used in interventional dietary trials in pregnancy, the quality and applicability of existing tools are low.