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Validation Information: Meal-based intake assessment tool (MBIAT)

Heath 2005

Meal-based intake assessment tool: relative validity when determining dietary intake of Fe and Zn and selected absorption modifiers in UK men

A computer-based dietary assessment tool, the meal-based intake assessment tool (MBIAT), is described. In the current study, dietary intakes of Fe and Zn fractions (total Fe, non-haem Fe, haem Fe, meat Fe, total Zn) and dietary components that influence Fe and Zn absorption (vitamin C, phytate, Ca, grams of meat/fish/poultry, black tea equivalents, phytate:Zn molar ratio) were assessed. The relative validity of the MBIAT was determined in forty-eight UK men aged 40 years and over by comparing its results with those from weighed diet records collected over 12 d. There was good agreement between the MBIAT and the weighed diet records for median intakes of total, non-haem, haem and meat Fe, Zn, vitamin C, phytate, grams of meat/fish/poultry and phytate:Zn molar ratio. Correlations between the two methods ranged from 0·32 (for Ca) to 0·80 (for haem Fe), with 0·76 for total Fe and 0·75 for Zn. The percentage of participants classified by the MBIAT into the same/opposite weighed diet record quartiles ranged from 56/0 for Fe and 60/0 for Zn to 33/10 for Ca. The questionnaire also showed an acceptable level of agreement between repeat administrations (e.g. a correlation for total Fe of 0·74). In conclusion, the MBIAT is appropriate for assessing group dietary intakes of total Fe and Zn and their absorption modifiers in UK men aged 40 years and over.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Micronutrient, Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Month
Portion Size Measures info
Common standard measures (e.g. cups of coffee, slices of bread) and three dimensional food models were provided for meats, cheese, pizza, slices of cake and potato chips.
Reporting Method info
Usual; Retrospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not Reported
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Associated Nutrient Database
McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, 4th & 5th editions and supplements Fifth Supplement to McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods (4th edition). Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Comparator Validated Against
Weighed Food Diary


Sample Size
Age of Population

Range: 46-75 years

Mean(SD): 61(8) years

Male Only
Other Notable Characteristics
Participants were excluded if they had chronic or acute illness that might affect Fe intake or status.

Total number of nutrients validated: 5 info

Not all of the nutrients validated in the validation studies are included in the table below, as statistical data was only selected to be displayed for a number of nutrients, this included:

  • Energy
  • Fat
  • Saturated Fat
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Sugar
  • Non‐starch polysaccharides(NSP)
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Retinol
  • Folate
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Fruit & Vegetables
  • Urinary Nitrogen

To find information on the other validated nutrients please read the validation study.

  • Macronutrients: 0
  • Micronutrients: 5
Comparator Lifestage Sex Nutrient Measured info Mean Difference Standard Deviation info Correlation Coefficient info Cohen's Kappa Coefficient Percentage Agreement Percentage Agreement Categories info Lower Limits of Agreement Upper Limits of Agreement
Weighed Food Diary Adults Male Only Calcium (mg)



0.32 (S) 32^ 4



Iron (mg)



0.76 (S) 56^ 4



Zinc (mg)



0.66 (S) 60^ 4



Vitamin C (mg)



0.66 (S) 44^ 4



Some results have been calculated using statistical techniques based on the published data.

For further information on statistical terms click on Statistical tests used in validation studies

All correlations coefficients in the table are unadjusted unless stated otherwise. For adjusted correlation coefficients and other statistical methods used in the study e.g. paired t-tests, please read the validation articles.

  • # Adjusted
  • † Energy adjusted.
  • ‡ For loge-transformed, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes.
  • ^ Adjacent included.
  • ᵟ Participants provided identical responses.
  • (w) = Weighted.

Heath AL, Roe MA, Oyston SL, Fairweather-Tait SJ. Meal-based intake assessment tool: relative validity when determining dietary intake of Fe and Zn and selected absorption modifiers in UK men. British journal of nutrition. 2005 Mar 1;93(03):403-16.