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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health: Diet and Physical Activity Assessment Methodology (R21 Clinical Trial Optional)

Deadline: February 16, 2018

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages innovative research to enhance the quality of measurements of dietary intake and physical activity. Applications submitted to this FOA may include 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; or 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.
  • Develop or refine innovative methods to improve respondent self-report of diet or physical activity behavior (potential areas include non-standardized questionnaire administration or use of life-event history calendars or other recall cues to enhance retrieval of relevant information).
  • Conduct validation or testing of existing instruments to assess utility in diverse populations.
  • Develop or refine innovative methods to improve underreporting of energy intake among obese and overweight individuals.
  • Identify factors leading to misreporting on dietary or physical activity assessment instruments.
  • Develop, refine, and test analytic or statistical methods to address measurement errors in the collection of dietary and/or supplement intake data and/or physical activity data.
  • Develop, refine, and test innovative methods to investigate the multidimensionality of diet and/or physical activity behaviors through pattern analyses.
  • Improve methods for measuring the type of physical activity (resistance vs. aerobic) and its amount (frequency, intensity, duration), the energy cost associated with physical activity, energy intake, and energy balance.
  • Improve methods for assessing intake of alcohol and particular types of food constituents, such as fat subtypes, phytochemicals, herbs, spices, and other bioactive food components.
  • Validate methods for measuring dietary and/or supplement intake or physical activity using appropriate reference instruments, including biomarkers, objective measures, or physiologic outcomes such as strength and fitness.
  • Develop or refine new technologies for the measurement of dietary intake and/or supplement intake or physical activity.
  • 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.
  • Explore the potential of ecological momentary analysis (EMA) techniques in the assessment of the complex, periodic behaviors of dietary intake and physical activity.
  • 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 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.
  • Explore new analytic methods or models that integrate multiple layers of diet and/or physical activity data.

Amount: Direct costs are limited to $275,000 over a two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year. The maximum project period is two years.

Eligibility: Special district governments; for profit organizations including small businesses; Native American tribal organizations; independent school districts; nonprofit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status; city or township governments;  institutions of higher education; county governments; public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities; state governments; and others.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=298307

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