Research Sections - Groups

Nutrition and Metabolism -  Dietary Exposure Assessment Group


Diet is considered one of the most important human environmental factors. However, accurate measurement of dietary exposure remains a major methodological challenge to investigate its relationship with diseases, particularly cancer. After decades of research in the field of nutritional epidemiology, there are still limited and inconsistent results on the actual role of diet in cancer aetiology. This led to a critical evaluation of the study designs (case-control vs. cohort studies), traditional dietary methodologies (e.g. food frequency questionnaires vs. more precise methods such as 24-hour dietary recalls and nutritional biomarkers) and statistical approaches (e.g. univariate vs. multivariate approaches) used in nutritional epidemiology. The main research lines emerging as new strategies to improve measurement and understanding of dietary exposure and its association with cancer, include 1) the set up of large (international) studies involving heterogeneous populations differing in both dietary exposure and cancer incidence; 2) the development of more accurate and standardized dietary methodologies, the integrated use of specific dietary biomarkers and metabolic profiles and 3) the development of appropriate (multivariate) statistical techniques to investigate diet-disease associations.