Daily Food Checklist
The daily food checklist method is a form of food record. The tool is comprised
of a list of foods; over the course of a day, a respondent makes a check beside a food
each time she or he eats it. The checklist shares an advantage of other record methods in
that it does not rely on memory. In addition, it avoids some disadvantages of complete
quantitative food records in that it has relatively low respondent and investigator
burden. Furthermore, analyses of 30 consecutive days of checklist reports from the 1996-97 NCI
America's Menu Study
showed that the act of checking items on a list did not change
the behaviors it was assessing. This "low reactivity" is not found with complete
quantitative food records, which have been found to be highly reactive.
A checklist instrument can be used as a stand-alone instrument or it can be used in
conjunction with another instrument. NCI staff are examining the use of a checklist
instrument to calibrate food frequency information obtained from a food frequency
questionnaire (FFQ). In preliminary analyses of the
Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition (OPEN) Study,
we have found that reported energy and protein estimates are
closer to true intake when the FFQ is used in conjunction with checklist-type information
(derived from two 24-hour recalls) than when the FFQ is used alone.
After several rounds of cognitive testing, NCI has developed a machine scannable seven-day
checklist instrument (PDF) to be coupled with NCI's FFQ, the Diet History Questionnaire. The instrument
has been administered in Re-OPEN, a new study in which OPEN participants have been
contacted again and asked to complete additional dietary assessment instruments. We are
analyzing whether its use in conjunction with the DHQ improves accuracy of self-reported
1. Thompson FE, Subar AF, Brown CC, Smith AF, Sharbaugh CO, Jobe JB, Mittl B, Gibson JT, Ziegler RG.
Cognitive research enhances accuracy of food frequency questionnaire reports: results of an experimental validation study.
J Am Diet Assoc 2002 Feb;102(2):212-25.