HNH-34903 Evaluation of Dietary Assessment Methods


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Knowledge clip0
Individual Paper0
Independent study0
Distance group work0
E-learning material0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
EM Brouwer-Brolsma
dr. LE Trijsburg
MP Lasschuijt
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
dr. ir. MC Busstra
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HNH-34403 Assessment of Dietary Intake, MAT-25303 Advanced Statistics.

For this course you need to have basic knowledge on the statistical data analysis software R.


Note: This online course largely overlaps with the course HNH-32806 Exposure Assessment in Nutrition and Health Research. Therefore, these courses can not be combined in an individual programme..

This course addresses methodological aspects of exposure assessment in nutrition research. Focus is on design and analysis of evaluation studies which assess measurement error in dietary intakes. You will learn how to adjust study results from nutritional surveillance and etiological studies for these measurement errors.
Nutrition research is often blamed for poor exposure assessment that might impair its usefulness. For example it has often been argued that FFQs are not useful to detect weak associations between dietary intake and health outcomes, since estimates of these associations are affected by errors in the exposure assessment. Despite their measurement errors, FFQs are commonly applied in epidemiological studies, as they are considered a feasible and cost-effective dietary assessment method. Evaluation studies (e.g. reproducibility and validation studies) can help to quantify measurement errors in dietary exposure assessment, in order to adjust research outcomes (e.g. associations between intake and health/disease or nutrient recommendations) for those errors and to adapt dietary assessment methods. Therefore such evaluation studies are essential to incorporate in nutritional research such as large cohort studies, case-control studies, surveillance studies etc. Consequently it is crucial for you as future researcher or practicing nutritional epidemiologist, to get training on the design, analyses and interpretation of studies which aim to valuate dietary assessment methods.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to design an evaluation study to compare the performance of a food frequency questionnaire against one or more reference methods, meaning students are expected to be able to:
- explain the aims and principles of evaluation studies in the context of nutritional research;
- understand how errors in dietary assessment affect the interpretation of results from nutrition surveillance and nutritional epidemiology and how evaluation studies can be used to obtain estimates of potential errors;
- have basic experience in the statistical analysis of evaluation studies on dietary assessment.


- study knowledge clips/textbook;
- study interactive e-modules to process the theory and get practical experience with statistical analysis;
- write a protocol for an evaluation study (individual & peer feedback).


- final remote proctored written exam with open and closed questions (40%);
- individual assignment: protocol evaluation study (40%) & peer review (20%);
All components need a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Willett, W. (2012). Nutritional Epidemiology. Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 3rd revised ed. ISBN 13: 9780199754038.

Compulsory for: MNHDLNutritional Epidemiology and Public HealthMSc6DL