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Timon, CM;Walton, J;Flynn, A;Gibney, ER
JMIR Public Health And Surveillance
Respondent Characteristics and Dietary Intake Data Collected Using Web-Based and Traditional Nutrition Surveillance Approaches: Comparison and Usability Study
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Background: There are many constraints to conducting national food consumption surveys for national nutrition surveillance, including cost, time, and participant burden. Validated web-based dietary assessment technologies offer a potential solution to many of these constraints.Objective: This study aims to investigate the feasibility of using a previously validated, web-based, 24-hour recall dietary assessment tool (Foodbook24) for nutrition surveillance by comparing the demographic characteristics and the quality of dietary intake data collected from a web-based cohort of participants in Ireland to those collected from the most recent Irish National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS).Methods: Irish adult participants (aged >= 18 years) were recruited to use Foodbook24 (a web-based tool) between March and October 2016. Demographic and dietary intake (assessed by means of 2 nonconsecutive, self-administered, 24-hour recalls) data were collected using Foodbook24. Following the completion of the study, the dietary intake data collected from the web-based study were statistically weighted to represent the age-gender distribution of intakes reported in the NANS (2008-2010) to facilitate the controlled comparison of intake data. The demographic characteristics of the survey respondents were investigated using descriptive statistics. The controlled comparison of weighted mean daily nutrient intake data collected from the Foodbook24 web-based study (329 plausible reporters of a total of 545 reporters) and the mean daily nutrient intake data collected from the NANS (1051 plausible reporters from 1500 reporters) was completed using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney U test in Creme Nutrition software.Results: Differences between the demographic characteristics of the survey participants across the 2 surveys were observed. Notable differences included a lower proportion of adults aged >= 65 years and a higher proportion of females who participated in the web-based Foodbook24 study relative to the NANS study (P<.001). Similar ranges of mean daily intake for the majority of nutrients and food groups were observed (eg, energy [kilocalorie per day] and carbohydrate [gram per day]), although significant differences for some nutrients (eg, riboflavin [mg/10 MJ], P<.001 and vitamin B12 [mu g/10 MJ], P<.001) and food groups were identified. A high proportion of participants (200/425, 47.1%) reported a willingness to continue using Foodbook24 for an additional 6 months.Conclusions: These findings suggest that by using targeted recruitment strategies in the future to ensure the recruitment of a more representative sample, there is potential for web-based methodologies such as Foodbook24 to be used for nutrition surveillance efforts in Ireland.
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