Nutritional Epidemiology / Edition 2

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This text is intended for those who wish to understand the complex relationships between diet and risks of important diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is aimed both at researchers engaged in the unraveling of these complex relationships and at readers of the rapidly multiplying and often confusing scholarly literature on the subject. The book starts with an overview of research strategies in nutritional epidemiology-still a relatively new discipline that combines the vast knowledge compiled by nutritionists during this century with the methodologies developed by epidemiologists to study the determinants of diseases with multiple etiologies and long latent periods. A major section is devoted to the methods of dietary assessment using data on food intake, biochemical indicators of diet, and measures of body composition and size. The reproducibility and validity of each approach and the implications of measurement error are considered in detail. The analysis, presentation, and interpretation of data from epidemiologic studies of diet and disease are explored in depth. Particular attention is paid to the important influence of total energy intake on findings in such studies. To illustrate methodological issues in nutritional epidemiology, relationships of dietary factors to the incidence of lung and breast cancer, heart disease, and birth defects are examined in depth. The first edition of Nutritional Epidemiology, published in 1989, was widely praised and quickly established itself as the standard reference in this field. The second edition, published in 1998, added new chapters on the analysis and presentation of dietary data, nutritional surveillance, and folic acid and neural tube defects. This new edition, in addition to substantial updating of existing chapters, includes new chapters on assessment of physical activity, nutrition and genetic epidemiology, and the role of nutritional epidemiology in policy. This

The book contains black-and-white figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Diane S. Lauderdale
This is the second edition of what has become the standard text in nutritional epidemiology, an area of intense research activity and public interest. 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. 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. 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. 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 firstedition, but there are three new chapters. References have generally been updated, but the classics of this relatively young field are included as well.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Kathleen M Tharp, PhD, MPH, RD (University of Iowa College of Public Health)
Description: This is the third edition of a book on the principles for measuring and assessing the contribution of diet to health. The last update was published in 1998.
Purpose: The stated purpose is to provide an introduction to the field of nutritional epidemiology and to serve as a resource for investigators studying the connection between diet and long-term health and disease. The objectives are met through a thorough description of nutritional assessment methods, common issues in data analysis, and examples of studies on diet components and disease.
Audience: The intended audience is researchers of diet and disease as well as those interested in reading and evaluating the scientific literature. The two previous editions have been widely used as textbooks for graduate and professional students, and this edition continues to provide an excellent foundation in nutritional research. The author, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, is well known for his long-term studies on diet and disease.
Features: The book includes an overview of nutrition assessment methods such as 24-hour recalls, food frequencies, anthropometrics, and biochemical indicators. New to this edition are chapters on physical activity, genetics, and policy implications. Four chapters of the book are devoted to nutrition research on specific health conditions: lung cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, and neural tube defects. Particularly well covered are the logistics related to measuring and analyzing diet in a way that is accurate and reliable. There are also many tables and figures that summarize findings from the literature. The technical material presented in this book would likely be too challenging for casual readers. As the author indicates in the introduction, several topics are not covered, including child growth and studies of nutritional deficiencies in developing countries. Given the rapidly expanding research on nutritional epidemiology, the author has created a website with supplementary materials ( Eventually, the website is expected to have readings, sample discussion questions, and material on specific biochemical indicators.
Assessment: This remains an excellent textbook for students learning to evaluate the literature or design their own studies. New chapters on physical activity, genetics, and policy provide much needed updates on the methods used by today's researchers. Overall, the book is a nearly comprehensive introduction to the basic principles of studying diet and long-term health and disease.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195122978
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/11/1998
  • Series: Monographs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics Series, #30
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, is the Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Table of Contents

1. Overview of Nutritional Epidemiology

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