Measuring food consumption of individuals

Lesson 6 : Diet Survey

Measuring food consumption of individuals

  1. 24 hour recall method and Weighment method

  2. Records of food intake

  3. Chemical analysis: In this method the individual is required to save a duplicate sample of each type of food eaten by the subject during the day. These samples are then collected and send to the laboratory for chemical analysis. It is the most accurate method but is costly and needs a good laboratory support.

  4. Telephone Survey: Conducting diet survey through telephone.

  5. Photographic method: Photographs of food items can be taken at specified distances and at perfect angles of all food items and left overs. Instruct the subject to record all descriptions of each food stuff including method of preparation. Estimates of the weights of food items consumed can be obtained by viewing the photographs alongside previously prepared standard photographs of portions of food stuffs of known weights.

  6. Food frequency questionnaire

  7. Dietary score: This method is useful where one is trying to assess the dietary intake of specific nutrient. Example: Iron content of diet. Depending on the content of iron, a food item is given a score. The frequency of intake of those foods is noted by questionnaire method. The frequency of consumption of foods and total score and percentages are then calculated. The value of this qualitative method is enhanced when it is combined with quantitative method of survey and nutritional status assessment.

  8. Diet history: This method is useful for obtaining qualitative details of diet and studying patterns of food consumption at household levels and at individual level. The procedure includes assessment of the frequency of consumption of different foods daily or number of times in a week or fortnightly or occasionally. This method has been used to study meal pattern, dietary habits, people’s food preferences and avoidances during physio-pathological conditions like pregnancy, lactation, sickness, Infant weaning practices, breast feeding practices and the associated cultural constraints which are often prevalent in the community.
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Last modified: Friday, 2 December 2011, 7:01 AM