EURRECA: Reproducibility and validation studies within nutritional research

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Reproducibility and validation studies within nutritional research

Eurreca logo.gif
Project acronym: EURRECA
Duration: Jan 2007 - Dec 2011
Funded by: DG Research (FP6)
Website: Welcome to EURRECA!

Project name: European Micronutrient Recommendations Aligned (EURRECA)

Sub title regarding the application described: Reproducibility and validation studies within nutritional research

Duration: Jan 2007 – Dec 2011

Funded by: DG Research (FP6)

Contact: Laura Cantor, ILSI

1. Context and problematic

Nutrition research is often blamed for poor exposure assessment that might impair its usefulness.

“Eating too much food high in fat could put women at a higher risk of breast cancer according to a paper published today.

Scientists writing in the Lancet medical journal say that the link has until now been hidden by the imprecise way in which scientists collect information on what people eat.”  
The Guardian, Friday 18 July 2003

To combat this, it’s important to train nutrition students early on so they learn that exposure assessment can influence results of observational studies and the importance of reproducibility and validations studies.

2. Results and Applications

The EURRECA project has developed an e-learning module that gives insight into the aims and principles of evaluation studies in the context of nutritional research. It illustrates how errors in dietary assessment affect the interpretation of results from nutrition surveillance and nutritional epidemiology. Moreover it shows how evaluation studies can be used to obtain estimates of potential errors.

The module consist of

  1. A general introduction on validation and reproducibility studies
  2. Two cases:
  • case 1: Validation of a 24-hour recall within the context of a nutritional surveillance study leading example: protein intake in an elderly population
  • case 2: Validation of a food frequency questionnaire within the context of a nutritional epidemiological study: leading example: folate intake and homocysteine concentration
    3.Theory modules: topics: Required type of information, Dietary assessment methods Random and systematic error, Biomarkers, Correlated errors , Bland & Altman

Both the introduction and the cases consist of interactive exercises, questions and animations.

After studying the module you will be able to:

  • Choose the appropriate design and analysis method,
  • Conduct the analysis and interpret results of reproducibility and validation studies.

To enable this you will learn to discuss the concepts, principles and aims of reproducibility and validity of exposure assessment at the level of both the individual and the population.

This includes quantification of random and systematic errors and implications for observed levels of intake, for ranking people according to their intake and for measures of association.

3. Successful applications, success stories

Currently the e-learning module is used within EURRECA courses and the biannual VLAG Master class Exposure Assessment in Nutrition Research. Plans to offer this module as distance learning are now being prepared.

More results from this project


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