Dragana Misita | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 05/08/2021
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES MSc Final Exam Seminar by Dragana Misita. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Meeting ID: 979 1349 9103
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Thesis Topic: Exploring intake of Canadian adults prior to conception using the Dietary Screening for Adult Canadians (D-SAC) Questionnaire

MSc with Dr. Rhonda Bell.

Seminar Abstract:

Background: Little is known about people’s diet during the preconception phase of life, despite it being critical for a healthy life-trajectory and lowered risk of chronic disease.  The Dietary Screening for Adult Canadians (D-SAC), a new, short, questionnaire to assess dietary intake based on Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) was selected for a large, prospective invention cohort study beginning in the preconception period. Studies in this thesis: 1) assessed reproducibility of the D-SAC over a month and compared weekly frequency of intake and diet quality scores from D-SAC and dietary information generated by repeated 24-hour recalls, and 2) described weekly frequency of intake and diet quality scores from D-SAC in a group of Canadian adults with child-bearing potential who were or were not actively planning a pregnancy.

Methods: English-speaking women and men, 18-45 years, living in Canada, who had reliable access to the internet were recruited; pregnant women were excluded. D-SAC captured weekly intake frequency of foods/beverages in 24 different groups.  Food/beverage groups were categorized as high (HQ), moderate (MQ) or low quality (LQ) and scores were summed within quality groups; a total quality (TQ) score was also calculated (sum of HQ+MQ+LQ). Study 1:  Participants completed a D-SAC at the start and end of a month, and 5, 24-hour recalls in the intervening period. Reproducibility (D-SAC start vs D-SAC end) was assessed by Pearson and Intraclass correlation analyses and paired t-tests. Comparability (D-SAC vs 24-hour recalls) was assessed using weighted kappa and Bland-Altman analysis. Study 2: Participants in a large cross-sectional study completed the D-SAC as one of many questionnaires describing preconception health behaviours. Proportions of respondents with different weekly frequency of intake from food/beverage groups were described.  HQ, MQ, LQ and TQ scores were calculated, and chi-square analyses were used to compare those with different pregnancy intention.

Results: Study 1: Quality scores determined by D-SAC were reproducible. Comparability of quality scores between D-SAC and 24-hour recalls was fair.  D-SAC overestimated intake of HQ foods and underestimated intake of LQ foods. Study 2: Adult’s intake of HQ foods did not align with CFG recommendations. Pregnancy intention was not associated with better diet quality scores although women planning a pregnancy consumed alcohol less frequently and consumed water more frequently than those not planning a pregnancy. More men planning a pregnancy consumed low-fat dairy daily and fewer consumed calorie-containing beverages daily than those who were not planning a pregnancy.

Conclusions: Intake assessed using the D-SAC is reproducible. While the D-SAC compares well to 24-hour recalls in assessing dietary intake of many foods and beverages, intake of high and low-quality foods and beverages should be interpreted with caution.  There is room for improvement in the preconception dietary intake of Canadians regardless of their intention to become pregnant.