Dietary Intake Methods

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Eating behaviors are considered key elements of health. Through the kinds of food that we eat and the way that we eat it, we can consume the nutrients that allow us to grow and develop (add ref). However, eating behaviors can also contribute to several diseases due to either a lack or an excess of certain nutrients and energy. Eating behaviors—especially those related to an unhealthy diet (increased intake of food with high amounts of fat, salt and sugars, and low amounts of vitamins and minerals)— have been noted by the WHO as “major modifiable determinant of chronic disease” (World Health Organization & Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003, p. 2), implying that it is a reversible condition. The unhealthy diet is considered a part of “Western …show more content…
Quantitative and qualitative methods have used on the study of eating behaviors. From the quantitative approach, a large amount of the studies use dietary intake methods to estimate the nutrient and energy consumption and the dietary patterns, and its associations with NCDs (Iimuro et. al., 2012, Shen et al., 2015, Setayeshgar et al., 2015). Traditionally, the more used dietary intake methods in the field are dietary records, food frequency questionnaires (FFQs), and 24-hour recalls (Thompson et. al, 2013). Those methods are considered crucial to evaluate interventions aimed at public health concerns, such as obesity (Burrows, 2012), and to identify nutritional concerns in vulnerable populations (Block, et al. 2006). However, the quantitative emphasis of these methods does not allow researchers obtaining data for explaining individuals’ eating behaviors.
On the other hand, qualitative methods have been found to be useful in research for studying human behavior aimed at answering questions about “how and why of certain behaviors” (Hargreaves, Schlundt, & Buchowski, 2002, p. 560). This indicates that qualitative research can complement traditional quantitative methods, and allow researchers to explore eating behaviors in a different way that do the traditional methods. Among the more traditional qualitative methods
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First, depending on how participants explain the pictures, the researcher can obtain a broad range of insights about a social phenomenon than otherwise might not be accessible. Talking about pictures “can prompt talk about different things, in different ways” (Rose, 2012, p.305). Other authors point out that using visual methods such as PE use spurs other kinds of participant knowledge, stimulated by pictures. Indeed, according to Johnson et al. (2010), this method reveals information that is difficult to obtain from traditional methods. For Lachal et al. (2012), PE can “facilitate verbalization” (p.1100). Second, this method allows researchers to obtain information about everyday events related with the theme throughout the participants’ lives, not only what is recently done. Third, it empowers participants. They have the most relevant role in the research because they take the pictures, and they are the “expert” (Rose, 2012, p.306), in many ways, during the interviews. Fourth, this method does not require that participants in the research have higher educational levels. Also, it is considered a clever method to engage people in research (Rose, 2012). Finally, it has been seen that PE increases rapport with participants and encourages their mutual investment in the project (Johnson et al.,

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