Chapter 3. Methods of dietary and nutritional assessment and intervention and other methods in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial

Therese A. Dolecek, Jeremiah Stamler, Arlene W. Caggiula, Jeanne L. Tillotson, I. Marilyn Buzzard, G. A. Grandits*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Various dietary assessment instruments were used in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT), either to assist with the special intervention program or to assess trial outcomes. For the latter purpose, the 24-h recall was the main method and was selected with the understanding that the single recall collected at baseline and at most annual visits-considered by itself-would be useful mainly for assessing groups rather than individuals. Major components of the data collection and analysis system developed for the 24-h recall included central training and certification of nutritionists, a central nutrient coding system, and a food grouping system to assist interventionists in using recall data tier counseling. Several additional nutritional assessment methods were used for men in the special intervention group only to assist them in attaining the dietary goals. These goals consisted chiefly of reduced intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and a modest increase in intake of polyunsaturated fat; total fat intake was also decreased, primarily for control of energy intake. Short-term success at attainment of these nutritional goals was evaluated by means of 3-d food records collected before the intervention and after tire initial 10-wk intensive intervention period. The MRFIT nutrient goals, which became more vigorous at certain points in the trial, were translated into food patterns. Adherence to these food patterns was also assessed by scoring of 3-d records and by subjective evaluation by nutritionists throughout the trial. Methods of collecting other trial data are also described in this chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196S-210S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Nutrition methods
  • dietary assessment
  • dietary data collection
  • nutrition intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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