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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of what has become the standard text in nutritional epidemiology, an area of intense research activity and public interest.
Purpose: The aim is to provide the reader with the conceptual and methodologic grounding essential for conducting studies of diet and disease. The complexity of carrying out population-based studies of nutrition makes bringing practical and theoretical issues together in one volume invaluable.
Audience: This book is intended to be an introduction to the field and a resource for investigators, as well as an aid to those interpreting the published literature. Striking a balance between the basic concepts a student needs and the analytic cutting edge which the more experienced investigator would like is difficult. This book functions primarily as a solid introduction for students or researchers who are already familiar with basic epidemiologic and statistical methods but who are relatively new to nutritional assessment and its particular analytic challenges. Some of the more complex recent methods are mentioned and references are provided.
Features: The first half incudes a description and evaluation of data collection methods for carrying out dietary assessment, including biochemical indicators. The next section covers analytic issues, while the final chapters present literature reviews of four much-studied associations (e.g. vitamin A and lung cancer; folic acid and neural tube defects) and directions for future research.
Assessment: The author is an expert in this field and both the chapters he has written as well as those contributed by others are uniformly well-organized and written with notable clarity. Much of the material in this edition is carried over from the first edition, but there are three new chapters. References have generally been updated, but the classics of this relatively young field are included as well.