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J Food Compost Anal. 2008 Feb 1;21(Supplement 1):S13-S19.

Considerations for selecting a dietary assessment system.

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University of Iowa, General Clinical Research Center, 200 Hawkins Drive, 157 Medical Research Facility, Iowa City IA 52242, USA.


The software available with some food composition databases allows for the dietary assessment of individuals and groups and may provide graphic comparisons of nutrient intakes to dietary standards. Four factors to consider when choosing a computerized dietary assessment system are availability of desired database features, efficiency of the search engine in finding foods in the database, educational value of the output, and cost of purchasing and updating the software. Printed output should clearly characterize dietary adequacy with graphs or simple tables. Dietary assessment data used for research must also be available in electronic spreadsheet format for statistical analysis. Peer-reviewed papers in journals that provide overviews of the features of various computerized dietary assessment software are helpful for informing the selection process.

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