Abstract Traditional methods to assess changes in dietary intake, for example food frequency questionnaires or 24-hour dietary recalls, are often not practical: they are lengthy, expensive, and unsuitable for telephone administration. This article describes the development and evaluation of an approach to the rapid assessment of the dietary intake of nutrients of most interest in health promotion research; total fat, saturated fat, dietary fiber, and percent of calories from fat. In this validation study on 97 women, short dietary questionnaires were compared to two criterion measures of usual dietary intake, a food frequency questionnaire and the mean of two four-day diet records. Correlations between self-administered short questionnaires and four-day diet records were 0.52, 0.53, 0.61, and 0.40 for total fat, percent of calories from fat, saturated fat, and dietary fiber, respectively. These correlations are similar to those observed between food frequency questionnaires and four-day diet records, which suggests that this approach to developing and administering short dietary questionnaires may be useful in situations where more expensive and time-consuming methods of dietary assessment are not practical.