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Currently it is not possible to accurately assess and thus understand what people eat, a key factor in defining their nutritional and food environments. Misreporting of dietary intake and variable food composition are the Achilles heel of nutritional science; it limits the robustness of many reported outcomes, from clinical trials to epidemiological studies and the monitoring of government nutritional policies. There has been very little change made to dietary assessment methods for the last 100 years. What can modern technology offer?


Overarching aim:

To develop collaborative and interdisciplinary interactions to facilitate high quality, multidisciplinary solutions and grant applications in the area for dietary assessment.

There are five main objectives:

Develop a network of scientists who will take the field beyond the state-of-the-art

Develop a gap analysis and examination of new opportunities, and the research required to progress this area

Explore how improved, robust standardised measures of dietary intake and exposure, suitable for different living environments and demographic groups, can be developed

Develop a toolbox which would enable specific questions/gaps to be addressed

Develop pathways and research questions for the utilisation and integration of new/emerging technologies



The sandpit will be a two-day immersive programme where participants will learn about the challenges around dietary intake assessments and explore technological avenues that might offer solutions. Over the two days, participants will have an opportunity to engage with researchers from diverse backgrounds, develop research ideas, test and refine these.

The ambition of this sandpit is to foster new collaborations and research projects in an area that is in great need of innovative ideas. While specific funding will not be made available for this sandpit, the event will include a session on funding opportunities for the resulting proposals. The conversations and insights from the sandpit will also inform the design of upcoming funding programmes by members of the UK Nutritional Research Partnership.