Frequently Asked Questions
Am I still in the study, even if I missed a few questionnaires?
Yes, and your participation still matters! Each year, when you complete a questionnaire, you are providing the building blocks that are needed to help us find stronger connections between behavior and health outcomes. Login today and update your contact info.
My life is not typical, should I still participate?
Absolutely! Having a wide variety of people answering the questionnaires is what makes this study strong. The unique experiences of each of our participants helps us to better understand the relationships between health, lifestyle and nutrition.
How do you decide which questions to ask?
It’s not easy! We repeat some questions when your answers might change over time, like your marital status or exercise habits. And since funding keeps GUTS running, we include questions relating to research grants that the investigators receive. Our goal is to balance the research interests of all the GUTS researchers with keeping the questionnaire as brief as possible.
How is GUTS funded?
Mostly through grants from the National Institutes of Health and not-for-profit health-focused foundations such as the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association. The studies funded by these grants dictate, to some extent, what questions we ask you. We occasionally receive funding from commercial organizations (such as food manufacturers) to research a topic within GUTS. The funding might influence the questions we want to ask but it never affects our analyses.
What if I’m not comfortable answering a question?
Can I estimate how often I ate the foods listed on this year’s questionnaire?
Yes, please do. We realize that it is not always easy to remember what you ate and that your diet may vary depending on the season. This is why we ask you to average your answers over the course of a whole year.
How is my information kept confidential?
We give each GUTS participant a unique ID number. Your ID is associated with your questionnaire responses, and it’s kept completely separate from your name and address. Only specially designated members of the research team are able to link names with IDs.
When we collect biological samples, like saliva or semen, we give these samples an entirely new ID which provides an extra level security and privacy.
Find out more at: GUTS Confidentiality