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Br J Nutr. 2009 Jul;101 Suppl 2:S95-101. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509990626.

Dietary assessment methods used for low-income populations in food consumption surveys: a literature review.

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Department for Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Tadeusa Koscuska 1, Belgrade 11000, Serbia.


In order to assess nutritional adequacy, reliable estimates of nutrient intake are required. Specifically, the EURopean micronutrient RECommendations Aligned (EURRECA) Network of Excellence needs clear guidelines on methods suitable for assessing micronutrient intakes among vulnerable population groups. The objective of this project was to collect, evaluate data and review the suitability of methods used to assess dietary intake of low-income groups across Europe. A comprehensive literature review methodology was employed, which involved structured search MEDLINE, from 1990 to 2008, on (nutrient intake methods) and (validity terms) and (human studies) and finally (low-income terms). In addition, manual searches were conducted for published books and national studies. Seven studies satisfied the selection criteria for inclusion in the review in which four dietary intake methods had been described and validated. Three other studies found in the grey literature used similar methods. Only one study tested a variety of methods to assess reliability and the method preferred by those having low incomes. Preferred methods were 24 h recalls and a FFQ which, compared with the weighed inventory, also yielded higher estimates of energy and nutrient intakes. Many of the methods used in low-income populations have not been subjected to evaluation and consequently may not demonstrate sensitivity and/or specificity when used in this population. Based on one study only, four multiple-pass 24 h recalls are recommended as the most appropriate method for the evaluation of nutritional adequacy in low-income households.

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