Core Resources

The mission of the NRG is to facilitate high quality nutrition research throughout MD Anderson and the research community.


The NRG provides expertise to investigators interested in conducting human epidemiologic and intervention studies.  We provide support through all stages of study development, from proposal to publication.  The NRG can assist with the many considerations related to research questions, study design and sample size, population demographics, research tool selection and development, data analysis and interpretation, and budgetary constraints.

We provide expertise and consultation for the following:

  • Dietary assessment and analysis methods
  • Interviewer training
  • Anthropometric assessments
  • Physical activity data collection and analysis
  • Biomarker integration

Service Fees

Pricing for Nutrition Core services is calculated based upon the hours and resources needed for trained staff to complete the request. In most cases, consultation for the purposes of collaborative grant proposals and publications is provided at no charge.

Dietary Data Collection Methods

Food Frequency Questionnaire

The Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) or Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ) is a standardized food list which aims to characterize usual or habitual intake over a specified period, often one year. The FFQ may or may not ask portion size and is typically self-administered in a scannable paper or web-based format.

24-hour Recall

The 24-hour dietary recall (24HR) attempts to capture all foods, food additions, and beverages that the participant consumed in the previous day, or 24 hour period. This method typically utilizes a software system with standard probes and is administered by a trained interviewer; however, self-administered and web-based versions are now available. Multiple 24-HR recalls are usually required for each participant.

Diet Record

Diet records (DR) capture detailed information on all foods, food additions and beverages at the time of the eating occasion (in “real time”). DR are usually completed by participants over several days.

Physical Activity Collection Methods

We can also assist with the selection and administration of cost-effective, objective, and previously validated measures of self-reported physical activity.  To better understand the relationship between physical activity and cancer, it is necessary to be able to accurately assess the type of activity, frequency, duration, and intensity level.  These variables, along with the Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) reference values, can be used to estimate a weighted measure of total physical activity. In addition to leisure-time activities, sports, and “intentional exercise,” modern physical activity assessment tools should also include activity derived from transportation, occupation, and household tasks, as well as time spent in sedentary activities (e.g., sitting in front of the computer or TV) and sleep.  

Contact Information

Nutrition Research Group
Department of Epidemiology, Unit 1340
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
P.O. Box 301439
Houston, Texas 77230

For delivery of packages

1155 Pressler St., Unit 1340
Houston, Texas 77030

Contact Individual NRG Group Members

  • Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, Ph.D., M.P.H.
  • Gladys Browman
    Research Coordinator
  • Margie Stembridge
    Administrative Assistant