Skip to main content Accessibility help

A review of the design and validation of web- and computer-based 24-h dietary recall tools

  • Claire M. Timon (a1), Rinske van den Barg (a1), Richard J. Blain (a1), Laura Kehoe (a2), Katie Evans (a2), Janette Walton (a2), Albert Flynn (a2) and Eileen R. Gibney (a1)...


Technology-based dietary assessment offers solutions to many of the limitations of traditional dietary assessment methodologies including cost, participation rates and the accuracy of data collected. The 24-h dietary recall (24HDR) method is currently the most utilised method for the collection of dietary intake data at a national level. Recently there have been many developments using web-based platforms to collect food intake data using the principles of the 24HDR method. This review identifies web- and computer-based 24HDR tools that have been developed for both children and adult population groups, and examines common design features and the methods used to investigate the performance and validity of these tools. Overall, there is generally good to strong agreement between web-based 24HDR and respective reference measures for intakes of macro- and micronutrients.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Eileen R. Gibney, fax +353 1716 7203, email


Hide All
1. Kirkpatrick, SI & Collins, CE (2016) Assessment of nutrient intakes: introduction to the special issue. Nutrients 8, 184.
2. Arens-Volland, AG, Spassova, L & Bohn, T (2015) Promising approaches of computer-supported dietary assessment and management: current research status and available applications. Int J Med Inform 84, 9971008.
3. Six, BL, Schap, TE, Zhu, FM, et al. (2010) Evidence-based development of a mobile telephone food record. J Am Diet Assoc 110, 7479.
4. Wang, D-H, Kogashiwa, M, Ohta, S, et al. (2002) Validity and reliability of a dietary assessment method: the application of a digital camera with a mobile phone card attachment. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 48, 498504.
5. Foster, E (2014) Comparison study: INTAKE24 vs interviewer led recall. Final Report for Food Standards Agency. (accessed June 2016).
6. Vereecken, C, Covents, M, Maes, L, et al. (2014) Formative evaluation of the dietary assessment component of Children’s and Adolescents’ Nutrition Assessment and Advice on the Web (CANAA-W). J Hum Nutr Diet 27, Suppl. 1, 5465.
7. Rollo, ME, Ash, S, Lyons-Wall, P, et al. (2015) Evaluation of a mobile phone image-based dietary assessment method in adults with type 2 diabetes. Nutrients 7, 48974910.
8. Harray, AJ, Boushey, CJ, Pollard, CM, et al. (2015) A novel dietary assessment method to measure a healthy and sustainable diet using the mobile food record: protocol and methodology. Nutrients 7, 53755395.
9. Sun, M, Burke, LE, Mao, Z-H, et al. (2014) eButton: a wearable computer for health monitoring and personal assistance. In Proceedings of the The 51st Annual Design Automation Conference on Design Automation Conference - DAC 2014. NewYork: ACM.
10. Lee, CD, Chae, J, Schap, TE, et al. (2012) Comparison of known food weights with image-based portion-size automated estimation and adolescents’ self-reported portion size. J Diabetes Sci Technol 6, 428434.
11. Barker, ME, Blain, RJ & Russell, JM (2015) The influence of academic examinations on energy and nutrient intake in male university students. Nutr J 14, 98.
12. Illner, A-K, Freisling, H, Boeing, H, et al. (2012) Review and evaluation of innovative technologies for measuring diet in nutritional epidemiology. Int J Epidemiol 41, 11871203.
13. Fallaize, R, Forster, H, Macready, AL, et al. (2014) Online dietary intake estimation: reproducibility and validity of the Food4Me food frequency questionnaire against a 4-day weighed food record. J Med Internet Res 16, e190.
14. Labonté, M-È, Cyr, A, Baril-Gravel, L, et al. (2012) Validity and reproducibility of a web-based, self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Eur J Clin Nutr 66, 166173.
15. Matthys, C, Pynaert, I, De Keyzer, W, et al. (2007) Validity and reproducibility of an adolescent web-based food frequency questionnaire. J Am Diet Assoc 107, 605610.
16. Kristal, AR, Kolar, AS, Fisher, JL, et al. (2014) Evaluation of web-based, self-administered, graphical food frequency questionnaire. J Acad Nutr Diet 114, 613621.
17. Touvier, M, Kesse-Guyot, E, Méjean, C, et al. (2011) Comparison between an interactive web-based self-administered 24 h dietary record and an interview by a dietitian for large-scale epidemiological studies. Br J Nutr 105, 10551064.
18. Foster, E, Hawkins, A, Simpson, E, et al. (2014) Developing an interactive portion size assessment system (IPSAS) for use with children. J Hum Nutr Diet 27, Suppl. 1, 1825.
19. Diep, CS, Hingle, M, Chen, T-A, et al. (2015) The Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recall for Children, 2012 Version, for youth aged 9 to 11 years: a validation study. J Acad Nutr Diet 115, 15911598.
20. Baranowski, T, Islam, N, Baranowski, J, et al. (2002) The food intake recording software system is valid among fourth-grade children. J Am Diet Assoc 102, 380385.
21. Moore, HJ, Ells, LJ, McLure, SA, et al. (2008) The development and evaluation of a novel computer program to assess previous-day dietary and physical activity behaviours in school children: the Synchronised Nutrition and Activity Program (SNAP). Br J Nutr 99, 12661274.
22. Carvalho, MA, Baranowski, T, Foster, E, et al. (2014) Validation of the Portuguese self-administered computerised 24-hour dietary recall among second-, third- and fourth-grade children. J Hum Nutr Diet 28, 666674.
23. Storey, KE & McCargar, LJ (2012) Reliability and validity of Web-SPAN, a web-based method for assessing weight status, diet and physical activity in youth. J Hum Nutr Diet 25, 5968.
24. Subar, AF, Thompson, FE, Potischman, N, et al. (2007) Formative research of a quick list for an automated self-administered 24-hour dietary recall. J Am Diet Assoc 107, 10021007.
25. Arab, L, Wesseling-Perry, K, Jardack, P, et al. (2010) Eight self-administered 24-hour dietary recalls using the Internet are feasible in African Americans and Whites: the energetics study. J Am Diet Assoc 110, 857864.
26. Slimani, N, Casagrande, C, Nicolas, G, et al. (2011) The standardized computerized 24-h dietary recall method EPIC-Soft adapted for pan-European dietary monitoring. Eur J Clin Nutr 65, Suppl. 1, S5S15.
27. Comrie, F, Masson, LF & McNeill, G (2009) A novel online food recall checklist for use in an undergraduate student population: a comparison with diet diaries. Nutr J 8, 13.
28. Shin, S, Park, E, Sun, DH, et al. (2014) Development and evaluation of a web-based computer-assisted personal interview system (CAPIS) for open-ended dietary assessments among Koreans. Clin Nutr Res 3, 115125.
29. Liu, B, Young, H, Crowe, FL, et al. (2011) Development and evaluation of the Oxford WebQ, a low-cost, web-based method for assessment of previous 24 h dietary intakes in large-scale prospective studies. Public Health Nutr 14, 19982005.
30. Moshfegh, A, Raper, N, Ingwersen, L, et al. (2001) An improved approach to 24-hour dietary recall methodology. Ann Nutr Metab 45, Suppl., 156 Abstr.
31. Carter, MC, Albar, SA, Morris, MA, et al. (2015) Development of a UK online 24-h dietary assessment tool: myfood24. Nutrients 7, 40164032.
32. Subar, AF, Kirkpatrick, SI, Mittl, B, et al. (2012) The Automated Self-Administered 24-hour dietary recall (ASA24): a resource for researchers, clinicians, and educators from the National Cancer Institute. J Acad Nutr Diet 112, 11341137.
33. Arab, L, Tseng, C-H, Ang, A, et al. (2011) Validity of a multipass, web-based, 24-hour self-administered recall for assessment of total energy intake in blacks and whites. Am J Epidemiol 174, 12561265.
34. Daniel, CR, Kapur, K, McAdams, MJ, et al. (2014) Development of a field-friendly automated dietary assessment tool and nutrient database for India. Br J Nutr 111, 160171.
35. Park, E, Shin, S, Hwang, S, et al. (2009) Web-based dietary assessment software for 24-hour recall interview. FASEB J 23, 223.1.
36. Lombard, MJ, Steyn, NP, Charlton, KE, et al. (2015) Application and interpretation of multiple statistical tests to evaluate validity of dietary intake assessment methods. Nutr J 14, 40.
37. Raatz, SK, Scheett, AJ, Johnson, LK, et al. (2015) Validity of electronic diet recording nutrient estimates compared to dietitian analysis of diet records: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res 17, e21.
38. De Keyzer, W, Bracke, T, McNaughton, SA, et al. (2015) Cross-continental comparison of national food consumption survey methods – a narrative review. Nutrients 7, 35873620.
39. Statistics Canada (2012) Inventory of Food Consumption Surveys. (accessed June 2016).
40. United States Department of Agriculture (2004) What We Eat in America, NHANES. docs.htm?docid=13793 (accessed June 2016).
41. European Food Safety Authority (2009) General principles for the collection of national food consumption data in the view of a pan-European dietary survey. EFSA J 7, 1435.
42. Subar, AF, Kirkpatrick, SI, Thompson, FE, et al. (2014) The web-based automated self-administered 24-hour dietary recall performs similarly to a traditional interviewer-administered 24-hour dietary recall. Circulation 129, Suppl. 1, AMP31.
43. Ferrari, P, Roddam, A, Fahey, MT, et al. (2009) A bivariate measurement error model for nitrogen and potassium intakes to evaluate the performance of regression calibration in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, Suppl. 4, S179S187.
44. Gemming, L, Utter, J & Ni Mhurchu, C (2015) Image-assisted dietary assessment: a systematic review of the evidence. J Acad Nutr Diet 115, 6477.
45. Moore, HJ, Hillier, FC, Batterham, AM, et al. (2014) Technology-based dietary assessment: development of the Synchronised Nutrition and Activity Program (SNAP). J Hum Nutr Diet 27, Suppl. 1, 3642.
46. Freese, J, Feller, S, Harttig, U, et al. (2014) Development and evaluation of a short 24-h food list as part of a blended dietary assessment strategy in large-scale cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 68, 324329.
47. Kirkpatrick, SI, Subar, AF, Douglass, D, et al. (2014) Performance of the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall relative to a measure of true intakes and to an interviewer-administered 24-h recall. Am J Clin Nutr 100, 233240.
48. Vereecken, CA, Covents, M, Haynie, D, et al. (2009) Feasibility of the Young Children’s Nutrition Assessment on the Web. J Am Diet Assoc 109, 18961902.
49. Hillier, FC, Batterham, AM, Crooks, S, et al. (2012) The development and evaluation of a novel Internet-based computer program to assess previous-day dietary and physical activity behaviours in adults: the Synchronised Nutrition and Activity Program for Adults (SNAPATM). Br J Nutr 107, 12211231.
50. De Keyzer, W, Huybrechts, I, De Vriendt, V, et al. (2011) Repeated 24-hour recalls versus dietary records for estimating nutrient intakes in a national food consumption survey. Food Nutr Res 2011, 55.
51. Bland, JM & Altman, DG (1986) Statistical methods for assessing agreement between two methods of clinical measurement. Lancet i, 307310.
52. Wardenaar, FC, Steennis, J, Ceelen, IJM, et al. (2015) Validation of web-based, multiple 24-h recalls combined with nutritional supplement intake questionnaires against nitrogen excretions to determine protein intake in Dutch elite athletes. Br J Nutr 114, 20832092.
53. Albar, SA, Alwan, NA, Evans, CEL, et al. (2016) Agreement between an online dietary assessment tool (myfood24) and an interviewer-administered 24-h dietary recall in British adolescents aged 11–18 years. Br J Nutr 115, 16781686.
54. Trabulsi, J, Troiano, RP, Subar, AF, et al. (2003) Precision of the doubly labeled water method in a large-scale application: evaluation of a streamlined-dosing protocol in the Observing Protein and Energy Nutrition (OPEN) study. Eur J Clin Nutr 57, 13701377.
55. Lassale, C, Castetbon, K, Laporte, F, et al. (2015) Validation of a web-based, self-administered, non-consecutive-day dietary record tool against urinary biomarkers. Br J Nutr 113, 953962.
56. Biltoft-Jensen, A, Trolle, E, Christensen, T, et al. (2014) WebDASC: a web-based dietary assessment software for 8–11-year-old Danish children. J Hum Nutr Diet 27, Suppl. 1, 4353.
57. Baranowski, T, Islam, N, Douglass, D, et al. (2014) Food Intake Recording Software System, version 4 (FIRSSt4): a self-completed 24-h dietary recall for children. J Hum Nutr Diet 27, Suppl. 1, 6671.
58. Douglass, D, Islam, N, Baranowski, J, et al. (2013) Simulated adaptations to an adult dietary self-report tool to accommodate children: impact on nutrient estimates. J Am Coll Nutr 32, 9297.
59. Baranowski, T, Islam, N, Baranowski, J, et al. (2012) Comparison of a Web-based versus traditional diet recall among children. J Acad Nutr Diet 112, 527532.
60. Zoellner, J, Anderson, J & Gould, SM (2005) Comparative validation of a bilingual interactive multimedia dietary assessment tool. J Am Diet Assoc 105, 12061214.
61. Sherwood, N (2008) Diet assessment in children and adolescence. In Handbook of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity, pp. 7389 [E Jelalian and RG Steele, editors]. New York: Springer.
62. Thompson, FE, Dixit-Joshi, S, Potischman, N, et al. (2015) Comparison of interviewer-administered and automated self-administered 24-hour dietary recalls in 3 diverse integrated health systems. Am J Epidemiol 181, 970978.
63. Margetts, B & Nelson, M (1997) Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
64. Wrieden, W, Peace, H, Armstrong, J, et al. (2003) A short review of dietary assessment methods used in National and Scottish Research Studies. (accessed May 2016).
65. McKeown, N, Day, N, Welch, A, et al. (2001) Use of biological markers to validate self-reported dietary intake in a random sample of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer United Kingdom Norfolk cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 74, 188196.
66. Bingham, SA, Gill, C, Welch, A, et al. (1997) Validation of dietary assessment methods in the UK arm of EPIC using weighed records, and 24-hour urinary nitrogen and potassium and serum vitamin C and carotenoids as biomarkers. Int J Epidemiol 26, Suppl. 1, S137S151.
67. Tasevska, N, Runswick, SA & Bingham, SA (2006) Urinary potassium is as reliable as urinary nitrogen for use as a recovery biomarker in dietary studies of free living individuals. J Nutr 136, 13341340.
68. Patterson, AC, Hogg, RC, Kishi, DM, et al. (2012) Biomarker and dietary validation of a Canadian food frequency questionnaire to measure eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid intakes from whole food, functional food, and nutraceutical sources. J Acad Nutr Diet 112, 10051014.
69. Timon, CM, Astell, AJ, Hwang, F, et al. (2015) The validation of a computer-based food record for older adults: the Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) method. Br J Nutr 113, 654664.
70. Rockett, J, Lynch, C & Buck, GM (2005) Home-based collection of biological measurements and specimens from women and children. Epidemiology 16, 131.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Nutrition Research Reviews
  • ISSN: 0954-4224
  • EISSN: 1475-2700
  • URL: /core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed