Comparison of Three Dietary Assessment Methods to Estimate Meat Intake as Part of a Meat Reduction Intervention among Adults in the UK
Stewart C., Bianchi F., Frie K., Jebb SA.
Food diaries are used to estimate meat intake at an individual level but it is unclear whether simpler methods would provide similar results. This study assessed the agreement between 7 day food diaries in which composite dishes were disaggregated to assess meat content (reference method), and two simpler methods: (1) frequency meal counts from 7 day food diaries; and (2) 7 day dietary recalls, each using standard estimated portion sizes. We compared data from a randomized controlled trial testing a meat reduction intervention. We used Bland-Altman plots to assess the level of agreement between methods at baseline and linear mixed-effects models to compare estimates of intervention effectiveness. At baseline, participants consumed 132 g/d (±75) of total meat; frequency meal counts and dietary recalls underestimated this by an average of 30 and 34 g/day, respectively. This was partially explained by an underestimation of the assumed portion size. The two simpler methods also underestimated the effect of the intervention, relative to control, though the significant effect of the intervention was unchanged. Simpler methods underestimated absolute meat intake but may be suitable for use in studies to measure the change in meat intake in individuals over time.