About the Diet Assessment Center

  • The Diet Assessment Center (DAC) was developed in 1990 to support the diet assessment activities of two large nutrition education intervention studies funded by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Methodologies were developed to collect dietary data using a computer-assisted telephone system enhanced by the use of the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR), a software program developed by the Nutrition Coordinating Center at the University of Minnesota. NDSR is available to all researchers. More information about NDSR can be found on their website (include URL)
  • Many of the early studies provided the data for estimating costs of administering 24-hour dietary recalls by telephone and have allowed the DAC to continue to provide diet assessment support for collaborative research using these methodologies.
  • Since 1990, the staff has conducted over 60,000 24-hour dietary recalls and has expanded expertise to include food record collection and analysis, food frequency collection, and the collection of a variety of other types of telephone administered questionnaires including physical activity, functional status and health history
  • Recent methodologies have focused on assessment of food patterns and comparisons of food patterns with various dietary recommendations such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, My Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Index 2005. In addition to collection and analysis of dietary data, the DAC is established to address issues of dietary methodologies. These include studies examining accuracy and sources of error in diet recall, and comparing different diet assessment methodologies within the same population.


The PSDAC consists of over 1200 sq ft. with a telephone interview facility and staff, faculty and graduate student office space. The telephone facility contains 6 sound proof booths equipped with computers, telephones, and headsets.

For additional information contact:

Diane C. Mitchell, M.S., R.D.
108B Chandlee