Validity and Reliability of Dietary Assessment in School-Age Children

Authored by: R. Sue , McPherson Day , Deanna M. Hoelscher , Courtney Byrd-Williams , Michelle L. Wilkinson

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Unique methodological challenges plague researchers’ ability to validly and reliably assess school-age children’s dietary intake. These challenges have inspired creative study designs to determine the efficacy of dietary assessment methodologies applicable to school-age children. Lessons learned from the last 42 years of research exploring the validity and reliability of 24 h recalls, food records, food frequency questionnaires (FFQs), checklists, screeners, and observations among school-age children are summarized in this report. This review of 195 validity and reliability studies of dietary assessment methods for school-age children combines recent published reports with the authors’ three previous reviews on this topic. 1 - 3 Highlights of this review include the addition of two new categories: a food record reliability and an observation validity category. The most active area of dietary assessment methods research among school-age children has been in studies of FFQs, checklists, and screeners with a 124% increase in the number of reports since our last review. 3 At the close of this review are recommendations, comments on emerging diet assessment approaches, and suggestions for future research.

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