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Dietary Intake Assessment Tools

Collecting dietary data is critical to inform public health, food safety and for industry. Online dietary intake assessments remove the time and cost burdens associated with traditional paper-based methods.

Traditionally, methods for collecting intake data are paper-based. Some of the most common methods for collecting dietary data include the 24-hour recall and food frequency questionnaires.

Some limitations include time and cost to administer, participant burdens and data burdens. The 24-hour recall also requires a skilled interviewer.

Web-based, online dietary assessments are potential tools to remove these time and cost burdens. The tools allow data to be collected from multiple locations and from large cohorts: all without relying on skilled administers. Data checks and data entry burdens are also greatly reduced. We have online tools for both 24-hours recalls and food frequency questionnaires.

24-hour recall

The 24-hour recall is a structured interview which collects an individual’s food consumption over the previous 24-hour day. The 5-step multiple-pass method is a validated approach developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. This method is currently used by the USDA to collected the “What We Eat in America” National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) data.

  • Online tools using the multiple pass 24-hour recall are validated against traditional paper based methods. 
  • Probes, linked foods and a questionnaire on frequently forgotten foods are included to ensure complete dietary data capture. 
  • Food photographs can be incorporated to estimate portion sizes.
  • The output data is granular allowing for detailed output analysis including flexible food grouping and modelling scenarios. 
  • Two non-consecutive 24-hour recalls can be used to collect habitual data. 
  • Customers can add their own data or combine data from other sources.

Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQs)

FFQs collect data on various foods consumed and the frequency of food consumption over a period of time, usually 6-12 months. FFQs are often used for larger cohorts.

  • FFQs can capture habitual data in a single administration.
  • They are usually easier for people to complete compared to other dietary intake assessment methods.
  • Online FFQs can be preprogrammed to ensure all questions are answered.
  • Food photographs can be incorporated to estimate portion sizes.
  • Customers can add their own data or combine data from other sources.

Download Case Study: FoodBook 24

Along with researchers at University College Dublin Creme Global have designed an online tool that will record the nutritional habits of the Irish population.

Creme have built this salt model for FSAI and trained the Authority’s staff in its use so that further analysis can be done by FSAI in the future. This will allow FSAI to request salt reductions in foods with confidence that there will be a subsequent improvement in salt intake. This model allows for the efficient and accurate processing of salt reduction data so that FSAI can focus resources in those areas that have the greatest impact on public health.

Salt Reduction Project Manager, FSAI
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