Publication Details

Probst, Y. (2012). Reporting of dietary assessment methods and use of information technology in food-based randomised controlled trials. Nutrition and Dietetics, 69 (1),


The range of randomised controlled trials reported in the scientific literature is extensive. A systematic literature review was conducted with the aim of determining how dietary assessment methods were reported and the use of assisted technologies. OVID (Medline, PreMedline, PsychINFO, Cochrane, ERIC and Cynahl) and ScienceDirect databases 2000- 2010 were searched for food-based parallel randomised controlled trials in humans. Studies relating to drug testing, vitamin or mineral supplements, enteral or parenteral nutrition and behavioural/educational interventions were excluded. Meal replacement studies were included. A total of 1364 abstracts were reviews and 347 studies identified. Additional articles referred to in the methods as the main publication and not captured in the initial search were also retrieved. Food record methodology was the most common assessment technique with three day duration the most common timeframe (2 week, 1 weekend day). There was a limited use of information technology for the assessment. Technology was primarily reported for analysis of nutrient data. Dietary analysis software used to determine for nutrient intakes is country specific. The end point of the study is the most commonly used time point for dietary assessment. The regular use of food record methodology to measure actual rather than usual dietary intake may not capture foods eaten intermittently though is not as resource heavy for a study. Information technology use may increase in the future allowing automation of dietary analysis and also allowing other forms of assessment to be used efficiently.