A practical method for collecting 3-day food records in a large cohort

Epidemiology. 2005 Jul;16(4):579-83. doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000165363.27323.ac.


Background: Recent studies suggest that diet records are more valid measures of nutrient intake than are food-frequency questionnaires. However, food records are considered unsuitable for large studies due to the need to train participants and to review and correct completed records.

Methods: We evaluated a self-administered 3-day food record protocol in Washington State. One hundred men and women age 50-76 years were mailed a food record and serving-size booklet. Sixty-five people returned a completed food record and were subsequently interviewed to obtain missing information. The food records were analyzed with and without added information from the interview.

Results: The most common error was incomplete description, which affected 8% of recorded foods. Differences in mean nutrient intake between the uncorrected and corrected records were within 5%, and nutrient estimates from the 2 methods were highly correlated.

Conclusions: This streamlined protocol yielded data comparable to those collected by more burdensome protocols, suggesting that the use of food records may be feasible in large cohort studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet Records*
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Eating*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Washington