Data-driven development of the Meal-based Diet History Questionnaire for Japanese adults

Kentaro Murakami, Nana Shinozaki, Tracy A. McCaffrey, M. Barbara E. Livingstone, Satoshi Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Food frequency questionnaires, the primary method of dietary assessment in large-scale nutritional epidemiologic studies, preclude an informed evaluation of the timing of dietary intake and meal-specific dietary intake. In this study, we developed the Meal-based Diet History Questionnaire (MDHQ), a self-administered questionnaire designed for estimating food and nutrient intakes for each meal type separately. The development was done based on a 16-day dietary record obtained from 242 Japanese adults. The MDHQ consisted of the three different parts, with a total of 196 items. Part 1 of the MDHQ asks about consumption frequency of generic food groups (n 24) for each meal type: Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and night snack. Part 2 of the MDHQ asks about relative consumption frequency of sub-food groups within one of the generic food groups which are asked in Part 1. Combining information derived from Parts 1 and 2 enables to increase the number of foods we can estimate efficiently but within a limited number of questions. Part 3 of the MDHQ asks about general eating behaviors, which are intended to use in a variety of ways during dietary intake calculation. A series of calculation algorithms for food groups, energy, and nutrients were also prepared. Given that the MDHQ was empirically developed based on comprehensive information on actual food consumption, this innovative tool may be promising for future epidemiological research on meal patterns and time of day of dietary intake, or chrono-nutrition research. A rigorous evaluation of validity of the MDHQ is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1064
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021


  • dietary assessment
  • meal quality
  • Meal type
  • time of day of intake
  • validity

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