Variance of familial dietary intake

Miriam M Morales, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Although many family-based genetic studies have collected dietary data, very few have used the dietary information in published findings. No single solution has been presented or discussed in the literature to deal with the problem of using factor analyses for the analyses of dietary data from several related individuals from a given household. The standard statistical approach of factor analysis cannot be applied to the VIVA LA FAMILIA Study diet data to ascertain dietary patterns since this population consists of three children from each family, thus the dietary patterns of the related children may be correlated and non-independent. Addressing this problem in this project will enable us to describe the dietary patterns in Hispanic families and to explore the relationships between dietary patterns and childhood obesity. In the VIVA LA FAMILIA Study, an overweight child was first identified and then his/her siblings and parents were brought in for data collection which included 24 hour recalls and food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Dietary intake data were collected using FFQ and 24 hour recalls on 1030 Hispanic children from 319 families. The design of the VIVA LA FAMILIA Study has important and unique statistical considerations since its participants are related to each other, the majority form distinct nuclear families. Thus, the standard approach of factor analysis cannot be applied to these diet data to ascertain dietary patterns. In this project we propose to investigate whether the determinants of the correlation matrix of each family unit will allow us to adjust the original correlation matrix of the dietary intake data prior to ascertaining dietary intake patterns. If these methods are appropriate, then in the future the dietary patterns among related individuals could be assessed by standard orthogonal principal component factor analysis.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Morales, Miriam M, "Variance of familial dietary intake" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1457567.