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J Nutr. 2010 Dec;140(12):2104-15. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.128371. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Web-enabled and improved software tools and data are needed to measure nutrient intakes and physical activity for personalized health research.

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Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Food intake, physical activity (PA), and genetic makeup each affect health and each factor influences the impact of the other 2 factors. Nutrigenomics describes interactions between genes and environment. Knowledge about the interplay between environment and genetics would be improved if experimental designs included measures of nutrient intake and PA. Lack of familiarity about how to analyze environmental variables and ease of access to tools and measurement instruments are 2 deterrents to these combined studies. This article describes the state of the art for measuring food intake and PA to encourage researchers to make their tools better known and more available to workers in other fields. Information presented was discussed during a workshop on this topic sponsored by the USDA, NIH, and FDA in the spring of 2009.

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