The Statistical Program to Assess Dietary Exposure (SPADE), developed by RIVM, is now available. SPADE estimates the habitual intake distribution for foods or dietary components based on information of intake, measured on a limited number of days.
In the evaluation of dietary intake of populations, one is often interested in the habitual intake, i.e. the long-term average intake. For example to estimate the proportion of a population that meets nutritional recommendations or that exceeds safe upper intake levels. In food consumption surveys however, dietary intake is generally collected with detailed short-term measurements, for example 2 24-hr recalls or food records.
Researchers can use SPADE to estimate the habitual intake distribution from information on intake measured on a limited number of days. Besides the habitual intake distribution for daily and episodically consumed foods or dietary components, the habitual intake distribution from dietary supplements and the combination of intake from food and dietary supplements can also be estimated. SPADE also provides models to estimate habitual intake distributions from different sources separately and combine these habitual intakes to get the habitual total intake distribution from all sources.
SPADE is implemented in a freely available, open-source software R for statistical computing. At www.spade.nl information about SPADE is presented, and a detailed user's manual is freely available. After registration, the SPADE program can be downloaded. The method is published in the Journal of Nutrition (http://jn.nutrition.org/content/144/12/2083.long)