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The analytic approaches used in nutritional epidemiology for dietary pattern analyses share common characteristics with those of genetic epidemiology. In this issue of the Journal, Gorst-Rasmussen et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2011;173(10):1097–1104) discuss one such approach. Application of methods used in genetic pattern analyses to nutritional epidemiology could prove valuable but raises important issues that need to be considered because dietary and genetic studies often address different types of questions in analyzing interrelated variables. These different aims require statistical methods that assume different characteristics of the underlying patterns. The authors briefly describe such differences to facilitate interpretation and applications of previous and future pattern studies.