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Diet, Measurement Of

Environmental Health

  1. Walter C. Willett

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vad020

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Willett, W. C. 2006. Diet, Measurement Of. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 2.

Author Information

  1. Harvard University, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Comparisons of disease rates among countries and animal studies have strongly suggested that aspects of diet are major determinants of cardiovascular diseases and various cancers. However, the potential for confounding by other lifestyle characteristics, and the desire to identify the critical components of diet, created the need for more detailed studies of diet and disease within populations. In addition to interest in dietary factors as primary exposures, diet may also be important as a modifier or confounder of associations between other environmental factors and disease. For example, constituents of certain vegetables are potent inducers of enzymes involved in the detoxification of carcinogens, and persons with a specific occupational exposure could well have different diets than those not exposed. Thus, the measurement of dietary factors may be desirable even when they are not of direct interest.