Feeding infants and toddlers study: overview of the study design

J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jan;104(1 Suppl 1):s8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2003.10.023.


Objective: Describe the design, data collection procedures, and sample characteristics of the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study.

Design: We conducted up to three telephone interviews with a random sample of parents or caregivers of infants and toddlers four to 24 months of age from March to July 2002. The three interviews included (a) a recruitment and household interview; (b) a 24-hour dietary recall, with supplementary questions on growth, development, and feeding patterns; and (c) a second dietary recall for a random subset of the sample. Two age subgroups of infants (four to six months and nine to 11 months) were over sampled. Sample weights adjusted for over sampling, nonresponse, and under coverage of some subgroups in the sample frame.

Subjects: A national random sample of 3,022 infants and toddlers, with two days of dietary recall available for 703 sample members.

Results: Of sampled households that could be located and had an eligible child in the study age range, the response rate to the recruitment interview was 73%. Of recruited households, the response rate for the dietary recall interview was 94%.

Applications/conclusions: The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) provides a wealth of data on the food and nutrient intakes, background characteristics, growth and development milestones, and feeding patterns and transitions for a nationally representative sample of infants and toddlers. Subsequent papers in this journal issue present study findings and conclusions from in-depth analysis of the FITS data.

MeSH terms

  • Feeding Behavior
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Research Design
  • United States