The evaluation of nutritional status by dietary intake assessment is fundamental to nutrition research. Accurate assessment allows for health professional-moderated diet adjustment in order to promote disease prevention and management. However, dietary intake can be extremely challenging to measure properly as reliability and accuracy are essential. As technology use has become more prevalent in recent years, an assortment of online, web-based diet analysis methods have begun to emerge. Are these modern methods as accurate as the traditional methods? The aim of this study was to compare and contrast diet analyses from a feeding trial in which both subject-coded (using the Automated Self Administered 24 hour recall, or the ASA24) and investigator-coded (using the Food Processor diet analysis program) diet records were available. Sixty-four overweight (body mass index >27-40 kg/m2) members of a campus community between the ages of 20-45 were recruited for an 8-week parallel arm, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of two different pre-dinner meal snacks on satiety, calories consumed, and contribution to modest weight loss. As part of the study requirements, participants completed 3-day food logs at four different times during the trial: pre-trial, and week 1, 4, and 8. Participants also entered their dietary information into the ASA24 website the day after the intake was recorded by hand. Nutrient intake values were compared between the ASA24 records and the handwritten food logs. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Statistical Analysis version 19.0; bivariate analyses and Spearman correlation analyses were utilized. Energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient intakes did correlate significantly between the two methodologies, though both under-reporting and over-reporting were found to exist. Carbohydrate and fiber intakes were under-reported by subjects; retinol, beta-carotene, and vitamin C amounts were over-reported. These results are consistent with previous findings in reporting differences and suggest that the ASA24 is a comparably accurate dietary tracking tool to the traditional diet record method.
- Subject-coded versus investigator-coded diet analysis among overweight individuals: a comparison of methods