STROBE stands for STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology” and “Nut” indicates that this is an extension for nutritional epidemiology. STROBE-nut is a guideline that helps researchers report findings of nutritional epidemiological studies.

Poor reporting of (bio)medical research findings compromises accurate description of the methods and findings, causing heterogeneity that complicates data analysis in reviews. Readers of such studies may reach erroneous conclusions or implement the results improperly in policies, interventions or clinical settings. Poor reporting of research is also an ineffective use of resources. To address these issues, research reporting guidelines have been developed. These guidelines assist researchers when reporting study results and reviewers, editors or other readers when evaluating research papers.

Nutritional epidemiology includes all studies of the relations between diet and health in human populations. Byers. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1304S-8S

The main objective of nutritional epidemiological research is to provide the best possible scientific evidence to support an understanding of the role of nutrition in the causes and prevention of ill health. Margetts & Nelson. Design concepts in nutritional epidemiology. Oxford University Press. Second edition 1997

A research reporting guideline is a simple tool that leads to a better reporting quality and more consistent research literature, without restricting the creativity in research and publications of findings. A guideline is mainly a checklist, explicit text, a flow diagram or a combination between these three elements that specifies the items to be reported during a study. STROBE-nut is summarized as a checklist that aims to improve the quality of reporting in studies of nutritional epidemiology specifically. 

Nutritional epidemiology is one of the younger disciplines in epidemiology. This may be partially due to the difficulties in measuring diet as an exposure. Michels. Int J Epidemiol 2003;32:486-8

Diet (…) represents an unusually complex set of exposures that are strongly intercorrelated. Willett. Nutritional epidemiology Oxford University Press Second edition. 1998

A research reporting guideline is usually developped using a clear methodology, entailing an essential consensus process between relevant content experts, methodologists and journal editors to reach an agreement. This study used “The Guidance for Developers of Health Research Reporting Guidelines” method (Moher et al. PlosMed; 7: e1000217). Details of the development of the STROBE-nut are available in the study protocol. The STROBE-nut protocol was registered on the EQUATOR Network to ensure transparency of methods, and promote collaboration with other research groups that might consider developing a similar checklist. EQUATOR or “Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research network was launched to promote accurate, responsible and transparent reporting of scientific health publications.

The STROBE-nut checklist is developped over a series of face to face consortium meetings and 3 international consultation rounds. The Delphi method is used to structure the group process and to collect and understand the opinions of a group of experts in a specific field. It is a practical way to collect information and to reach consensus between experts that are unable to convene physically. The protocol of this study was approved by the ethics committee of the University Hospital of Ghent University Belgium on 10/12/2013 (B670201319178). There is no outside funding for this study.