A computerized diet questionnaire for use in diet health education

M. G. O'Donnell, M. Nelson, P. H. Wise, D. M. Walker
1991 British Journal of Nutrition  
A diet questionnaire was developed in association with a computer program to provide rapid nutritional feedback to the general public. The questionnaire was validated against 16 d of weighed diet records and biochemical variables in blood and urine. The highest Pearson correlation coefficients obtained between the questionnaire and the weighed records were for alcohol, fibre, iron, riboflavin (r 0.74,0.67,0.66,0.66 respectively). Striking sex differences were shown in the results; the trend for
more » ... higher correlations persisted in females. At least 65 % of subjects were classified by questionnaire to within one quintile of the classification by weighed record for the majority of nutrients. Diet questionnaire : Computer program : Validation : Health education In Britain, over the last 30 years, major changes have occurred in diet: on average, a downward trend in carbohydrate consumption from 50 YO of dietary energy in 1950 to 44 YO in 1982; while energy derived from fat has increased from 35% in 1950 to 42.8 YO in 1983 (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1984). Over a similar time-period there has been an increase in diseases of affluence: obesity, coronary heart disease, cancer, and dental caries. Whilst these diseases are multifactorial in origin (stress, smoking, genetic susceptibility, lack of physical exercise), diet is recognized as an important factor in their development. They also now affect a large proportion of the population. Consumers are increasingly aware and concerned about food and food safety, but also increasingly bewildered and confused by two phenomena : first, by conflicting messages about which foods are good for health, and second, by ignorance of their own nutrient intakes. Given the importance of diet in health education, and the demand from consumers for specific appropriate advice, we urgently require a system which accurately and rapidly assesses an individual's current dietary intake, and provides practical dietary feedback and advice tailored to the individual. The present paper describes such a system: the development and validation of a diet questionnaire linked to a computer program for use in the dietary assessment and education of healthy individuals. M E T H O D S Development of the questionnaire The aims of the self-administered food frequency questionnaire were as follows : (1) to establish individual habitual dietary intake over a 3-month period in individuals aged 18-65 years; (2) to estimate intake of the following nutrients: energy, protein, total fat,
doi:10.1079/bjn19910004 pmid:1931903 fatcat:nvqpiiyai5exxisdma3jdmlute