MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory

Dietary Assessment Team

The MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory Dietary Assessment Team specialises in the coding of diet diaries to derive food and nutrient intakes. Our main expertise is in the use of diet diaries in national surveys and cohorts in dietary intervention studies. We also seek to improve data collection and coding methods, and we specialise in updating and undertaking enhancements to food composition databases.

Our main area of work is the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS RP) for which MRC EWL provides the nutrition lead. We have longstanding expertise in dietary assessment and dietary coding of the four day estimated diet diaries for the NDNS RP and we work jointly with Public Health England (PHE) to technically update and manage the nutrient databank for the survey. Comprehensive dietary coding is enabled through the use of our bespoke in-house coding system Diets In Nutrients Out (DINO). The Dietary Assessment Team also follows international developments on food composition science as a member of EuroFIR (European Food Information Resource) Association Internationale Sans But Lucratif (AISBL), and contributes to the science through sharing experience, providing training, and developing and publishing methodologies on food composition.

The MRC EWL Dietary Assessment Team has a history of providing collaborative inputs to a range of nutrition research (projects, trials and surveys) and can consider support, through provision of the services below, during 2017-2018 for other researchers/organisations:

  • Coding of weighed and estimated diet dairies
  • Coding of 24 hour recalls
  • Coding of FFQ’s (subject to the type of FFQ)
  • Expert advice and guidance on coding methods and collection of dietary data, including training.
  • Development and specialist enhancements of food composition databases.

Some of our past coding and food composition projects include:

Dietary Assessment contact: Birdem Amoutzopoulos