Dietary Carotenoid Assessment Tool (DCAT).
A screening tool for rapid estimation of dietary carotenoid intake
Diet is a major variable that contributes to human health and disease risk. Decades of scientific research suggest that dietary patterns rich in a variety of fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer through numerous mechanisms, however accurate dietary assessment remains challenging. A number of different tools have been developed to assess human diet and uncover correlations between dietary exposures and cancer risks, with one of the most common being the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). This kind of questionnaire gives a subjective view of frequency and amount of foods consumed, but it requires a lot of work by the respondent, and the results provide a general overview of the diet. A tool that is easy to use and focused on one specific nutrient or phytochemical is needed for more focused diet research.
Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new FFQ: the Dietary Carotenoid Assessment Tool (DCAT). It has 63 items, and is focused on the major food sources of carotenoids. This assessment tool features a narrow focus that reduces completion time for the respondent and provides feedback on only on dietary carotenoid intake. The result should be a more accurate estimation of carotenoid intake and estimations that correlate with blood carotenoid concentrations as well as or better than diet assessment tools used today.