(HealthDay News) — More care needs to be taken in reporting dietary intake methods in childhood and adolescent obesity intervention trials in order to be able to better evaluate and replicate study methods, according to the results of a systematic review published online Aug. 15 in Obesity Reviews.
To evaluate the quality of dietary intake methods and reporting, Tracy Burrows, Ph.D., of the University of Newcastle in Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 31 studies, including 23 reporting energy intake, 20 reporting macronutrient intakes, and 10 reporting food intake outcomes.
The researchers found the overall quality of dietary intake methods reporting to be rated as poor in 52 percent of studies, with only three studies rated as excellent. In these studies the most commonly used methods of assessing diet included the food diary (13), 24-hour recall (five), food frequency questionnaire (four), and dietary questionnaire (four). Food frequency questionnaires were rated as being of higher quality than food diaries or 24-hour recall.
“Results indicate that authors, reviewers, and journal editors need to ensure more transparent and consistent reporting of dietary methods used in childhood obesity trials if the quality of study reporting is to be improved,” the authors write. “In particular, reporting of dietary methods can be improved if investigators provide information on the instrument validity, the qualifications or training of those who administer the dietary assessment, and the food composition database that was used to derive energy and nutrient intakes.”