M Nelson, King's College London, London, UK © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Although the basic approaches to dietary assessment have changed little in the past 20 years, there has been a growing awareness of the ways in which errors in dietary assessment may undermine an understanding of diet-disease relationships. There have been two stages in this process: (i) acceptance of the fact that every measure of food consumption is likely to be influenced by the reporting process and (ii) the improvements in the methods for estimating the size of the difference between what is observed and the likely true values for countries, households, or individual subjects. This article examines the techniques for coping with the sources of error in the assessment of diet, particularly through the use of biochemical and statistical techniques that are available to evaluate the quality or enhance the interpretation of dietary data.
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