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The validation of a computer-based food record for older adults: the Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) method

  • Claire M. Timon (a1), Arlene J. Astell (a2) (a3), Faustina Hwang (a4), Tim D. Adlam (a5), Tom Smith (a4), Lin Maclean (a6), Daynor Spurr (a7), Sarah E. Forster (a7) and Elizabeth A. Williams (a7)...

Dietary assessment in older adults can be challenging. The Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) method is a touch-screen computer-based food record that enables older adults to record their dietary intakes. The objective of the present study was to assess the relative validity of the NANA method for dietary assessment in older adults. For this purpose, three studies were conducted in which a total of ninety-four older adults (aged 65–89 years) used the NANA method of dietary assessment. On a separate occasion, participants completed a 4 d estimated food diary. Blood and 24 h urine samples were also collected from seventy-six of the volunteers for the analysis of biomarkers of nutrient intake. The results from all the three studies were combined, and nutrient intake data collected using the NANA method were compared against the 4 d estimated food diary and biomarkers of nutrient intake. Bland–Altman analysis showed a reasonable agreement between the dietary assessment methods for energy and macronutrient intake; however, there were small, but significant, differences for energy and protein intake, reflecting the tendency for the NANA method to record marginally lower energy intakes. Significant positive correlations were observed between urinary urea and dietary protein intake using both the NANA and the 4 d estimated food diary methods, and between plasma ascorbic acid and dietary vitamin C intake using the NANA method. The results demonstrate the feasibility of computer-based dietary assessment in older adults, and suggest that the NANA method is comparable to the 4 d estimated food diary, and could be used as an alternative to the food diary for the short-term assessment of an individual's dietary intake.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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* Corresponding author: E. A. Williams, fax +44 114 271 1863, email
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