The complex relationships between health and dietary components and patterns have been intensely studied. Researchers have developed various tools, such as food diaries and food frequency questionnaires, to help understand relationships between dietary components and health, and have developed indexes such as the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, and the revised Dietary Quality Index, to help understand relationships between dietary patterns and health. These tools have greatly enhanced our understanding, but they are too costly and cumbersome to use in routine clinical practice.
This article gives a brief overview of the features and advantages of existing tools, and describes a new self-administered tool (the Eating Assessment Table) that retains many of the advantages of existing research tools, but which is simple enough to be used in clinical practice.
The background and design of this tool are described as well as a mechanism for guiding the evolution of future versions of this tool. Forms for using this tool in clinical and research settings are supplied in English, French, and Spanish.