BACKGROUND: Dietary assessment is complex, and strategies to select the most appropriate dietary assessment tool (DAT) in epidemiological research are needed. The DIETary Assessment Tool NETwork (DIET@NET) aimed to establish expert consensus on Best Practice Guidelines (BPGs) for dietary assessment using self-report.
METHODS: The BPGs were developed using the Delphi technique. Two Delphi rounds were conducted. A total of 131 experts were invited, and of these 65 accepted, with 48 completing Delphi round I and 51 completing Delphi round II. In all, a total of 57 experts from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia commented on the 47 suggested guidelines.
RESULTS: Forty-three guidelines were generated, grouped into the following four stages: Stage I. Define what is to be measured in terms of dietary intake (what? who? and when?); Stage II. Investigate different types of DATs; Stage III. Evaluate existing tools to select the most appropriate DAT by evaluating published validation studies; Stage IV. Think through the implementation of the chosen DAT and consider sources of potential biases.
CONCLUSIONS: The Delphi technique consolidated expert views on best practice in assessing dietary intake. The BPGs provide a valuable guide for health researchers to choose the most appropriate dietary assessment method for their studies. These guidelines will be accessible through the Nutritools website, www.nutritools.org .
- Dietary assessment methods
- Nutritional epidemiology
- Public health