Intake24: A 24-hour dietary recall system

Digital Health

Abstract

Intake24 is a free multilingual online dietary capture and analysis tool that provides the same quality of data as interview-led dietary recall at a significantly lower cost.

Method

Based on the multiple-pass 24 hour recall method, the system enables participants to input all food and drink consumed, estimate portion size using visual guides, and review their input at each stage.

Takeaways

Intake24 was piloted as part of the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) in 2018, and has been developed and adapted for introduction in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme from October 2019.

Accessible and validation methods for collecting and assessing dietary information is critical to the many public health interventions.

Traditionally, a nutritionist interviews participants to capture what has been consumed in the previous 24 hours, and this is repeated several times to estimate average consumption. To conduct such interviews at scale requires large numbers of trained nutritionists, who use their expertise to probe for additional information which is often missed or forgotten.

To analyse dietary information, each food and amount is then manually coded and entered into a database to produce the nutritional output, a process which is timely, expensive and can be prone to error.

Intake24 is a free multilingual online dietary capture and analysis tool which provides the same quality of data at a significantly lower cost. Based on the multiple-pass 24 hour recall method, the system enables participants to input all food and drink consumed, estimate portion size using visual guides, and review their input at each stage. The system has been designed to ask a series of prompt questions if food or drink items are considered missing, such as “did you have any butter on your toast?”

Intake24 automatically links to the food composition data and the weight of the food from the chosen portion size to calculate the nutritional output. The data from dietary surveys using Intake24 is available online and can be downloaded straight into a spreadsheet for easy analysis.

A demonstration of Intake24.

Highlights

Intake24 was piloted in the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) in 2018. The pilot was commissioned by Food Standards Scotland, in collaboration with the Scottish Government and delivered by ScotCen Social Research in partnership with Newcastle University’s Human Nutrition Research Centre and Open Lab who have developed and tested Intake24.

A total of 1053 respondents completed two or more dietary recalls. The pilot said Intake24 was a way to collect considerably more detailed data from the SHeS sample than the Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Module and Eating Habits Module methods currently included and is a more effective way to measure population dietary intakes against the Sustainable Development Goals and differences between population groups.

Intake24 has been developed and adapted for introduction in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme from October 2019. (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey)

Some of the many research projects that have used (or are currently using) Intake24 to assess dietary intake include:

  • The BBaRTS Healthy Teeth Behaviour Change Programme for preventing dental caries in primary school children: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial - Queen Mary University of London
  • Evaluation of the Change4Life Sugar Smart Campaign – Newcastle University
  • The FENLAND study - University of Cambridge, MRC Epidemiology Unit
  • The NoHow study - EU Horizon 2020 project
  • Many PhD and Undergraduate student projects including from; Abertay University, Newcastle University, Bristol University and Northumbria University.
  • National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) – University of Cambridge

Publications

Comparison of INTAKE24 (an Online 24-h Dietary Recall Tool) with Interviewer-Led 24-h Recall in 11–24 Year-Old

  1. Bradley J
  2. Simpson E
  3. Poliakov I
  4. Matthew JNS
  5. Olivier P
  6. Adamson AJ
  7. Foster E

2016Nutrients

Iterative Development of an Online Dietary Recall Tool: INTAKE24

  1. Simpson E
  2. Bradley J
  3. Poliakov I
  4. Jackson D
  5. Olivier P
  6. Adamson AJ
  7. Foster E

2017Nutrients