The Linear Index Model for establishing nutrient goals in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension trial. DASH Collaborative Research Group.
Establishing target levels of nutrients in feeding studies presents a challenge to dietitians. Although researchers studying energy-containing nutrients, such as protein and fat, commonly establish target levels according to body weight or as a percentage of energy, it is less clear how to establish levels of micronutrients. Typically, a constant target level is used regardless of energy requirements. Alternatively, nutrients could be provided at a fixed level per 1,000 kcal. Such an approach, however, could result in absolute levels of nutrient intakes that are difficult to achieve through foods alone, particularly for persons with high energy requirements. This report describes the Linear Index Model, a new approach for establishing target levels of selected micronutrients in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension trial. This model indexes micronutrient levels to energy levels to achieve a linear range of targeted intake in proportion to the energy intake. The Linear Index Model has several benefits: it takes advantage of indexing nutrients according to energy requirements, thus providing levels of nutrient intakes that can be readily achieved by foods; it is based on population consumption data, thus providing a realistic range of intakes for the experimental conditions; and it ensures distinct contrasts in experimental conditions. The Linear Index Model is a feasible and practical approach for establishing target levels of nutrients in feeding studies.
Lin, PH; Windhauser, MM; Plaisted, CS; Hoben, KP; McCullough, ML; Obarzanek, E
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