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Exposure Assessment Methods

Dietary Patterns Methods Project

Evidence regarding the influence of dietary patterns on chronic disease and mortality is inconclusive, primarily due to the lack of consistency in how dietary patterns have been defined and measured.

The Dietary Patterns Methods Project was initiated to strengthen the scientific evidence base on dietary patterns and inform the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The project aims to compare key diet quality indices and their associations with cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality. These indices include the Mediterranean Diet Score, Healthy Eating Index, Alternate Healthy Eating Index, and DASH Scores. An index-based approach to dietary patterns was chosen because this method addresses the complexity of diet, multicollinearity between dietary components, and can be readily translated into dietary recommendations.

Parallel analyses are underway within three cohorts:

In addition to the systematic comparison in these three cohorts, the study coordinators welcome the opportunity to work with other partners to extend the project's aims. These goals include:

  • applying these same methods in other US and international cohorts; and
  • correcting for measurement error in all models.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013