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Validation Information: My Meal Mate (MMM)

Carter 2013

‘My Meal Mate’ (MMM): validation of the diet measures captured on a smartphone application to facilitate weight loss

Accurate dietary assessment is an essential foundation of research in nutritional epidemiology. Due to the weaknesses in current methodology, attention is turning to strategies that automate the dietary assessment process to improve accuracy and reduce the costs and burden to participants and researchers. 'My Meal Mate' (MMM) is a smartphone application designed to support weight loss. The present study aimed to validate the diet measures recorded on MMM against a reference measure of 24h dietary recalls. A sample of fifty volunteers recorded their food and drink intake on MMM for 7d. During this period, they were contacted twice at random to conduct 24h telephone recalls. Daily totals for energy (kJ) and macronutrients recorded on MMM were compared against the corresponding day of recall using t tests for group means and Pearson's correlations. Bland-Altman analysis was used to assess the agreement between the methods. Energy (kJ) recorded on MMM correlated well with the recalls (day 1: r 0·77 (95% CI 0·62, 0·86), day 2: r 0·85 (95% CI 0·74, 0·91)) and had a small mean difference (day 1 (MMM - recall): -68 kJ/d (95% CI -553, 418 kJ) (-16 kcal/d, 95% CI -127, 100 kcal); day 2 (MMM - recall): -441 kJ/d (95% CI -854, -29 kJ) (-105 kcal/d, 95% CI -204, -7 kcal)). Bland-Altman analysis showed wide limits of agreement between the methods: -3378 to 3243 kJ/d (-807 to 775 kcal/d) on day 1. At the individual level, the limits of agreement between MMM and the 24h recall were wide; however, at the group level, MMM appears to have potential as a dietary assessment tool.

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Validation Information

Year of Publication

Tool Information

Dietary Exposure Measured
Energy, Macronutrient
Tool Type
Food Diary Estimated
Timeframe Tool Measures info
1 Day
Portion Size Measures info
Standard portion sizes are the default option, but if the portion sizes are not appropriate then participants are encouraged to weigh and enter their own portion size.
Reporting Method info
Format info
Supplements Measured
Not Reported
Administration Method info

Study Information

Study Location
Leeds, England
Associated Nutrient Database
The Weight Loss Resources database.
Comparator Validated Against
24hr Recall


Sample Size
Age of Population

Mean(SD): 35(9) years

Other Notable Characteristics
Almost half of participants were trying to lose weight.

Total number of nutrients validated: 4 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: 3
  • Micronutrients: 0
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
24hr Recall Adults Both Energy (kcal) -52 323 0.68 (P) -582 483
Energy (kJ) -218 1351 0.68 (P) -2434 2022
Protein (g) -4 15 0.64 (P) -34 26
Fat (g) -3 16 0.75 (P) -35 29
Carbohydrates (g) -2 48 0.57 (P) -98 94

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.

Carter MC, Burley VJ, Nykjaer C, Cade JE. ‘My Meal Mate’(MMM): validation of the diet measures captured on a smartphone application to facilitate weight loss. British Journal of Nutrition. 2013 Feb 14;109(03):539-46.