EPIC working groups

The Nutrition Working Group

Diet is one of the most complex exposures to investigate in relation to chronic disease, particularly cancer. Large multicentre nutritional studies such as EPIC raise additional challenges to measure, compare, and analyse dietary exposure in a comparable way across countries and to generalize evidence and recommendations. The EPIC Nutrition Working Group aims to support the EPIC network with standardized dietary tools and standard operating procedures to collect, handle, and analyse dietary data. This includes the compilation of standardized nutrient or other food component databases of major research interests1,2,3 (e.g. acrylamide, folates, glycaemic index/glycaemic load, polyphenols, plant sterols). Other major activities within the Working Group involve the provision of comparable evidence on dietary exposures across the EPIC participating countries, using a unique data set of standardized 24-hour dietary recalls obtained from a representative sample of the EPIC cohort (N=~ 37 000). Special issues4,5 and scientific papers6,7 that serve as background information for the analyses and interpretation of diet—disease associations are regularly published using univariate and (new) multivariate8 approaches integrating dietary and biomarker measurements.


Selected publications

  1. Slimani N et al. The EPIC nutrient database project (ENDB): a first attempt to standardize nutrient databases across the 10 European countries participating in the EPIC study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;61(9):1037-56. Epub 2007 Mar 21. PMID: 17375121

  2. Bouckaert KP et al. Critical evaluation of folate data in European and international databases: recommendations for standardization in international nutritional studies. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jan;55(1):166-80. PMID: 21207520

  3. Nicolas G et al. Compilation of a standardized international folate database: report of the experience from the EPIC study. Food Chem. 2014 10th IFDC special issue (in press)

  4. Slimani N et al. Special issue on “Food consumption, anthropometrics and physical activity in the EPIC cohorts from 10 European countriesPublic Health Nutr. 2002 Dec;5(6b):1111-2; read.

  5. Slimani N et al. Special issue on “Nutrient Intakes and Patterns in the EPIC cohorts from 10 European countries” (SNIPE). Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;63:S1-S2; read.

  6. Park JY et al. Comparison of standardised dietary folate intake across ten countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108(3):552-69. PMID: 22040523

  7. Freisling H et al. Dietary reporting errors on 24 h recalls and dietary questionnaires are associated with BMI across six European countries as evaluated with recovery biomarkers for protein and potassium intake. Br J Nutr. 2012 Mar;107(6):910-20. PMID: 21791145

  8. Crispim SP et al. Bias in protein and potassium intake collected with 24-h recalls (EPIC-Soft) is rather comparable across European populations. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec;51(8):997-1010. PMID: 22143464

Contact details/Working Group leader

Nadia Slimani, PhD
Head, Dietary Exposure Assessment Group (DEX)
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO)
150 cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France