All methods of dietary intake assessment, both those in use and those under development, proceed food by food, meal by meal, and/or day by day to assemble a representation of habitual diet. That representation must then be analyzed at the n-of-1 level. We are introducing a disruptive innovation, diet quality photo navigation (DQPN™), which reverse engineers this process entirely, beginning with fully assembled dietary prototypes represented in photographic images. Each prototype depicts an objectively measured (1,2) quality tier of a given diet type, displayed in a standardized quantity. Quality is determined in part by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010 and 2015), which aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This trusted, scientifically validated tool is used to accurately measure diet quality and evaluate public health interventions relating to chronic disease and mortality risk.
All image components are fully pre-analyzed for culinary accuracy, overall quality, food group representation, relative quantity, and all nutrients using the industry standard nutrition analysis software for research. A simple, automated calculation of approximate energy requirements (3) allows for personalized nutrient intake estimates. DQPN replaces reliance on recollection and recall and their intrinsic limitations with image recognition, a native and universal human aptitude.
The method constrains potential error (4-7) by precluding implausible values. Post hoc analysis of individual intake is replaced with infinite scalability. DQPN replaces minutes, hours, and days of data inputs with the establishment of dietary intake pattern (Diet ID™) in mere seconds. Additional functionality adapts the method to identification of a dietary goal (Diet IDEAL™), and coaching along the specifically mapped route between current and goal diets, with implications for both human health coaching and apps/technology-based approaches to health promotion, disease management, weight management, and even the environmental impact of diet. Face validity is established by building the tool under the constant scrutiny, and to the specifications, of a multidisciplinary panel of independent content experts. Concurrent validation against prevailing instruments, and criterion validation against biomarkers is under way.
DQPN™ introduces a potentially disruptive innovation in dietary intake assessment with an array of ostensible advantages over currently prevailing methods.
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