Diet and Physical Activity Assessment Methodology (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Program Description

NIMHD supports innovative research to enhance the quality of measurements of dietary intake and physical activity. The purpose of this funding opportunity, led by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), is to promote substantive improvements in the assessment of diet and physical activity as related to public health, obesity, cancer, and chronic diseases across the lifespan.

The measurement of usual dietary intake or physical activity over varying intervals or in the past, by necessity, has relied on self-report instruments. Such reports are cognitively difficult for respondents and are prone to varying degrees of measurement error depending on the period considered, the ease of the instrument, and the characteristics of the respondents. Accurate longitudinal data on physical activity and dietary intake patterns are critical for understanding how these factors may impact health and functional status over the human lifespan.

NIMHD seeks research proposals that focus on one or more NIH-designated populations experiencing health disparities in the United States, which include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, underserved rural populations, and sexual and gender minorities.

Applications may include the development of:

  • Novel assessment approaches.
  • Better methods to evaluate instruments.
  • Assessment tools for culturally diverse populations or various age groups, including children and older adults.
  • Improved technology or applications of existing technology.
  • Statistical methods/modeling to improve assessment and/or to correct for measurement errors or biases.
  • Methods to investigate the multidimensionality of diet and physical activity behavior through pattern analysis.
  • Integrated measurement of diet and physical activity along with the environmental context of such behaviors.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Refine and test innovative methods of diet or physical activity assessments for use in population surveillance, epidemiological studies, and/or behavioral interventions within general populations, socio-culturally diverse populations, low-literacy respondents, individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, and/or children or other age groups.
  • Conduct validation or testing of existing instruments to assess utility in diverse populations.
  • Conduct cognitive testing of self-reported dietary or physical activity instruments to assess respondents' abilities to answer questions, particularly in population subgroups.
  • Explore psychometric properties of instruments so that questionnaire items can be developed for various groups, compared using the same metric, or be administered with innovative approaches such as computer adaptive testing methodologies.
  • Develop and test new methods for accurate assessment in normal elderly and elderly with cognitive impairment or dementing diseases, which might result in difficulty remembering details of dietary intake and physical activity.
  • Expand and integrate the use of image-capture or direct observation, self-report, GPS, GIS and other instruments for the joint measurement of diet, physical activity, and the environments in which these activities occur. Such integrated measurement should improve the efficiency with which we can collect measures of energy balance related behavior.

NIH Guide No.: PAR-18-856; Reissue of PA-18-010

Page updated Jan. 12, 2024