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J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Jan;106(1 Suppl 1):S12-27.

Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS): development of the FITS survey in comparison to other dietary survey methods.

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  • 1Gerber Products Co., Parsippany, NJ, USA.



This article describes the steps in the planning and development of the 2002 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study.


We describe the study's rationale, sampling methodology, survey questionnaire development, dietary methodology, field data collection, and data processing and analysis. A brief review of existing national nutrition surveys and studies of infants and toddlers, and available study designs and dietary methods, is also included.


Most national studies have been cross-sectional and assessed breastfeeding rates, dietary intake, and nutritional status among general and high-risk populations. Other specialized studies have been longitudinal and tracked dietary intake and nutritional status from infancy to the preschool years, or focused on studying a specific research topic, such as the relationship between fluoride intake and dental caries.


The 2002 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study has advanced the knowledge base on infant and toddler nutrition by using state-of-the-art methodology and by providing researchers with updated information to develop further research questions. Our findings can be used by child health and nutrition organizations to develop dietary recommendations and improved nutrition education materials. Clinicians and practitioners in the fields of public health and wellness can use the information to provide practical advice to parents in a variety of settings to help give children a more healthful start.

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