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General objectives

The general objective of this collaboration project is to develop improved guidelines for new and innovative instruments and methodologies to assess among the adult population individual dietary intake including alcohol in epidemiological studies and public health projects in order to allow identifying vulnerable groups and social inequalities more precisely than today.

In this project we aim:

  • to create a network of researchers and institutions that have strong interest in the evaluation and testing of new and innovative assessment approaches regarding dietary intake including alcohol use for application in large-scale epidemiological studies and public health, and to link with the ALPHA project on physical activity.

  • to react positively on the recent critique that results from epidemiological studies might not reflecting true associations between diet and chronic disease risk due to imprecision of the measurement tools and furthermore might fail to identify true vulnerable groups,

  • to provide guidelines for a new generation of improved methods to assess dietary intake including alcohol use in individuals participating in large- scale epidemiological studies and public health projects,

  • to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for these measurements that allow other groups to use them in a standardized manner in their epidemiological and public health studies,

  • foster modern technologies to be applied in Europe of public health and strengthen the technology approach in Europe.

This project aims to deliver SOPs for use of new and innovative instruments and methodologies that allow to generate more solid evidence than currently, with the ultimate aim of contributing in the long-term perspective to public health policy. The project profits from the experience obtained in the EPIC study, a prospective cohort study in which data on nutritional intake had been collected from more than 500,000 Europeans, adult men and women with different disease risks and socio- cultural backgrounds. Part of the EPIC-data collection was co-financed by the European Commission under this directorate.


The major outcome of this project can be seen in the practically proven guideline to conduct dietary assessment in epidemiological studies. In our understanding, innovative dietary assessment consists on only in the application of methods but also their combination if appropriate and the statistical treatment of the data. We generate the respective knowledge by a stepwise approach in that first a state of the art evaluation will be conducted, that is than subsequently translated into a pilot study. Finally, the experience of the pilot study in conjunction with the state of the art evaluation will result in the guidelines as SOPs being distributed and accessible through the internet. Internet websites will report about this process as well as leaflets.

The following table will list the major outcome of the project.

Activity Outcome
Evaluation of the literature State of the art report
Evaluation of new dietary assessment methods SWOT-analysis
Specific analysis in existing cohorts regarding dietary assessment during study conduct (Participation rates, time burden required, cost assessment) State of the art report
State of the art evaluation Selection of new methodologies for pilot study
Pilot study Standard operating procedures (SOPs)

The SOP on innovative dietary assessment methods for epidemiological studies is the outcome with the highest political impact . Its is a recommendation which probably high widespread recognition and use. The project itself represents the most important epidemiological studies in Europe by number of study participants. The international consultants will help to obtain interest for the SOPs from groups in the USA and Asia.

-- HerbertPiechot - 22 May 2007

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Topic revision: r5 - 2008-11-25 - PalliD
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