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Development and evaluation of a short 24-h food list as part of a blended dietary assessment strategy in large-scale cohort studies



The validity of dietary assessment in large-scale cohort studies has been questioned. Combining data sources for the estimation of usual intake in a blended approach may enhance the validity of dietary measurement. Our objective was to develop a web-based 24-h food list for Germany to identify foods consumed during the previous 24 h and to evaluate the performance of the new questionnaire in a feasibility study.


Available data from the German National Nutrition Survey II were used to develop a finite list of food items. A total of 508 individuals were invited to fill in the 24-h food list via the Internet up to three times during a 3–6-month time period. In addition, participants were asked to evaluate the questionnaire using a brief online evaluation form.


In total, 246 food items were identified for the 24-h food list, reflecting >75% variation in intake of 27 nutrients and four major food groups. Among the individuals invited, 64% participated in the feasibility study. Of these, 100%, 85% and 68% of participants completed the 24-h food list one, two or three times, respectively. The average time needed to complete the questionnaire was 9 min, and its acceptability by participants was rated as high.


The 24-h food list represents a promising new dietary assessment tool that can be used as part of a blended approach combining multiple data sources for valid estimation of usual dietary intake in large-scale cohort studies.

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This project was conducted in the context of the pretest studies of the German National Cohort ( These were funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Grant no. 01ER1001A-I, and supported by the Helmholtz Association as well as the participating universities and Institutes of the Leibniz Association.

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Correspondence to J Freese.

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Freese, J., Feller, S., Harttig, U. et al. Development and evaluation of a short 24-h food list as part of a blended dietary assessment strategy in large-scale cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 68, 324–329 (2014).

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  • nutritional epidemiology
  • dietary assessment
  • statistical modelling

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