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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374302

Research Project: Strategies to Alter Dietary Food Components and Their Effects on Food Choice and Health-Related Outcomes

Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory

Title: Designing and conducting human nutrition randomized controlled trials

Author
item LICHTENSTEIN, ALICE - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item PETERSEN, KRISTINA - Pennsylvania State University
item BARGER, KATHRYN - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item HANSEN, KAREN - University Of Wisconsin
item ANDERSON, CHERYL - University Of California, San Diego
item Baer, David
item LAMPE, JOHANNA - University Of Washington
item MATTHAN, NIRUPA - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item RASMUSSEN, HELEN - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Advances in Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/7/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the field of human nutrition, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the gold standard for establishing causal relationships between exposure to nutrients, foods or dietary patterns, and prespecified outcome measures such as body composition, biomarkers or event rates. Evidence-based dietary guidance is frequently derived from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of these RCTs. Each decision made during the design and conduct of a human nutrition RCTs will affect the utility and generalizability of the study results. Within the context of limited resources, the goal is to maximize the generalizability of the findings while producing the highest quality data and maintaining the highest ethics and standards of scientific integrity. The aim of this report is to discuss critical aspects of conducting a human nutrition RCT, including considerations for study design (parallel, crossover, factorial, cluster), institutional ethics approval (Institution Review Boards), recruitment and screening, intervention implementation, adherence and retention assessment, and statistical analyses considerations. Additional topics include distinguishing between efficacy and effectiveness, defining research question(s), monitoring biomarker and outcome measures, and collecting and archiving data. Addressed are specific aspects of planning and conducting human nutrition RCTs, including types of interventions, inclusion/exclusion criteria, participant burden, randomization and blinding, trial initiation and monitoring, and the analysis plan.