Current Nutrition Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 307–314 | Cite as

What Are They Really Eating? A Review on New Approaches to Dietary Intake Assessment and Validation

  • Megan E. Rollo
  • Rebecca L. Williams
  • Tracy Burrows
  • Sharon I. Kirkpatrick
  • Tamara Bucher
  • Clare E. CollinsEmail author
Public Health and Translational Medicine (MEJ Lean, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Public Health and Translational Medicine



Assessing food and nutrient intakes is critical to evolving our understanding of diet-disease relationships and the refinement of nutrition guidelines to support healthy populations. The aims of this narrative review are to summarise recent advances in dietary assessment methodologies, with a particular focus on approaches using new technologies, as well as strategies to evaluate tools, and to provide directions for future research.

Recent Findings

Technology as a mode to assess dietary intake has gained momentum in recent years, with the development of image-based methods and wearable devices, as well as the emergence of online methods of administering traditional paper-based approaches to dietary assessment. At the same time, there have been advances in the development of dietary biomarkers to evaluate measures of self-reported dietary intake. Common biomarkers, such as plasma carotenoids and red blood cell fatty acids, are still being utilised with new markers including urinary markers of sugar or wholegrain intake, skin carotenoids as a measure of fruit and vegetable intake. As well, the field of metabolomics shows promise.


Challenges remain in dietary intake assessment, and further efforts are required to refine and evaluate methods so that we can better understand diet-disease relationships and inform guidelines and interventions to promote health.


Dietary assessment Technology Validation Biomarkers eHealth mHealth 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Megan E. Rollo, Rebecca L. Williams, Tracy Burrows, Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Tamara Bucher and Clare E. Collins declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan E. Rollo
    • 1
  • Rebecca L. Williams
    • 1
  • Tracy Burrows
    • 1
  • Sharon I. Kirkpatrick
    • 2
  • Tamara Bucher
    • 1
  • Clare E. Collins
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition and the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and MedicineUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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