Dietary intake assessment - Questionnaire

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Back to: Matrix - Outcomes of Interest, Matrix - Practical Considerations, Matrix- Populations of Interest

Population of Interest (P=Parent, R=Researcher, C=Child)

  • Age: <1 yr (P); 1-10 yrs (P); 3-5 yrs (P); 10-12 yrs (P and/or C); 12 yrs+ (P or C)
  • Setting: Clinical; Home; Community; Population
  • Administration Method: Self Report; Face to Face (?); CATI


There are many specific surveys available which can measure food related behaviours and activities. These measures are useful to complement actual food intake information collected from the common dietary methods. These include feeding behaviours, eating practices such as eating in front of the TV, purchasing habits (eg. before or after school), availability of items in the home (eg. soft drinks) and parenting style.


Assessing the validity of these tools can be difficult; as an alternative method of data collection is usually relied upon (eg. asking a participant to describe food intake, location and circumstance) while collecting information from a more detailed dietary assessment technique. These details are frequently neglected or forgotten so careful probing is required by the researcher.

When to use

Useful in large population surveys, where food related behaviours are likely to be associated with the outcome of interest and may also be targeted as an intervention point. May also be used in population-based monitoring of food-related behaviours to enable tracking over time.


Mis-reporting may occur. Food behaviour questions can also be asked of older primary school-aged children.


Both researcher and participant burden are considered low for this method.


rovides some information about food related behaviours which may identify useful areas to target for intervention and use for health promotion messages.

These are simple assessment tools, and easy to administer, can be self-completed, mailed to participants, or completed via a website.


Questionnaires provide broad information about food behaviours and provide limited information about dietary intake. Participants may modify responses to report how they believe you want them to behave.