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Validation Information: Foodbook24

Timon 2017

The Development, Validation, and User Evaluation of Foodbook24: A Web-Based Dietary Assessment Tool Developed for the Irish Adult Population

Background: The application of technology in the area of dietary assessment has resulted in the development of an array of tools, which are often specifically designed for a particular country or region.

Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the development, validation, and user evaluation of a Web-based dietary assessment tool "Foodbook24."

Methods: Foodbook24 is a Web-based, dietary assessment tool consisting of a 24-hour dietary recall (24HDR) and food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) alongside supplementary questionnaires. Validity of the 24HDR component was assessed by 40 participants, who completed 3 nonconsecutive, self-administered 24HDR using Foodbook24 and a 4-day semi-weighed food diary at separate time points. Participants also provided fasted blood samples and 24-hour urine collections for the identification of biomarkers of nutrient and food group intake during each recording period. Statistical analyses on the nutrient and food group intake data derived from each method were performed in SPSS version 20.0 (SPSS Inc). Mean nutrient intakes (and standard deviations) recorded using each method of dietary assessment were calculated. Spearman and Pearson correlations, Wilcoxon Signed Rank and Paired t test were used to investigate the agreement and differences between the nutritional output from Foodbook24 (test method) and the 4-day semi-weighed food diary (reference method). Urinary and plasma biomarkers of nutrient intake were used as an objective validation of Foodbook24. To investigate the user acceptability of Foodbook24, participants from different studies involved with Foodbook24 were asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire.

Results: For nutrient intake, correlations between the dietary assessment methods were acceptable to very good in strength and statistically significant (range r=.32 to .75). There were some significant differences between reported mean intakes of micronutrients recorded by both methods; however, with the exception of protein (P=.03), there were no significant differences in the reporting of energy or macronutrient intake. Of the 19 food groups investigated in this analysis, there were significant differences between 6 food groups reported by both methods. Spearman correlations for biomarkers of nutrient and food group intake and reported intake were similar for both methods. A total of 118 participants evaluated the acceptability of Foodbook24. The tool was well-received and the majority, 67.8% (80/118), opted for Foodbook24 as the preferred method for future dietary intake assessment when compared against a traditional interviewer led recall and semi-weighed food diary.

Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate the validity and user acceptability of Foodbook24. The results also highlight the potential of Foodbook24, a Web-based dietary assessment method, and present a viable alternative to nutritional surveillance in Ireland.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Full Nutrient, Food Groups
Tool Type
Food Frequency Questionnaire and 24 Hour Recall
Timeframe Tool Measures info
2 Days
Portion Size Measures info
Portion size was shown by food photographs (existing dataset of portion size images).
Reporting Method info
Retrospective; Prospective
Format info
Supplements Measured
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Dublin, Ireland
Associated Nutrient Database
The NANS dataset are derived from UK food composition tables and the Irish Food Composition Database (IFCDB)
Comparator Validated Against
Weighed Food Diary


Sample Size
40 (Adults)
Age of Population

Range: 18-62 years

Mean(SD): 32.2(13.4) years

Other Notable Characteristics
The participants were Irish adults

Total number of nutrients validated: 27 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.

  • Energy
  • Macronutrients: 10
  • Micronutrients: 17
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 Both Energy (kcal) -122 647 NR 46 4 -1471 1171
Protein (g) -11.5 33 NR 56 4 -77.7 54.6
Fat (g) -7.3 34.5 NR 38 4 -76.2 61.6
Saturated Fat (g) 2.4 13.5 NR 43 4 -24.5 29.2
MUFA (g) -1.2 13.8 NR 33 4 -28.7 26.3
PUFA(g) -0.3 6.1 NR 44 4 -12.5 11.9
Carbohydrates (g) -16.6 75.2 NR 46 4 -167 134
Sugars (g) -7.9 46.6 NR 33 4 -101 86
Fiber (g) 6.7 8.2 NR 41 4 -9.6 23
Sodium (mg) -286 777.0 NR 46 4 -1840 1268
Calcium (mg) -102 353.0 NR 36 4 -808 603
Iron (mg) -1.9 4.8 NR 38 4 -11.4 7.6
Zinc (mg) NR 74 4
Retinol (µg) NR 31 4
Folate (µg) -24.6 117.2 NR 46 4 -259 210
Vitamin B12 (µg) -0.3 3.7 NR 28 4 -7.6 7
Vitamin C (mg) -14.3 87.9 NR 41 4 -190 161
Fruit (g) 120 208 NR 36 4 -296 536
Vegetable (g) -65 132 NR 46 4 -329 199

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.

Timon CM, Blain RJ, McNulty B, Kehoe L, Evans K, Walton J, et al. The Development, Validation, and User Evaluation of Foodbook24: A Web-Based Dietary Assessment Tool Developed for the Irish Adult Population. J Med Internet Res. 2017;19(5):e158.