The design of a validation study must also reflect the purpose for which the dietary assessment is being carried out. Most dietary assessments measure current or recent consumption. However, if the aim is to estimate past diet related to the induction of cancer 10 years before the time of the assessment (e.g., in a case-control study), then the validation process should in theory address the relevant time period. In practice, this may be very difficult (i.e., if there is no robust reference measure of diet relating to the relevant time period). In such circumstances, the weaknesses of an unvalidated test measure should not be overlooked nor understated.

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