BACKGROUND ON ASA24 AND ASA24-CANADA
Dietary assessment is complex, with optimal approaches to dietary assessment dependent on the research question as well as the study design.
Evidence from biomarker-based studies has demonstrated that 24-hour dietary recalls provide the highest quality, least biased dietary data (see the National Cancer Institute’s Dietary Assessment Primer). This method allows collection of detailed intake and portion sizes, and, because data collection occurs after the consumption, does not affect consumption in real time as food records might. The close proximity in time to the intake day minimizes memory and cognitive issues that afflict other methodologies.
Traditional 24-hour recalls, however, are expensive and impractical for large-scale research because they rely on trained interviewers and an extensive post-interview coding effort. To address this challenge, investigators at the National Cancer Institute created ASA24, which has been available in the US since 2009. With the 2016 version of ASA24-Canada, it is possible to collect food record data as well as recall data.
Data from validation and evaluation studies indicate that ASA24 performs well relative to observed true intakes and standardized interviewer-administered 24-hour recalls.
Featured Recent Publication
Lessons from Studies to Evaluate an Online 24-Hour Recall for Use with Children and Adults in Canada
Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, Anne M. Gilsing, Erin Hobin, Nathan M. Solbak, Angela Wallace, Jess Haines, Alexandra J. Mayhew, Sarah K. Orr, Parminder Raina, Paula J. Robson, Jocelyn E. Sacco and Heather K. Whelan
With technological innovation, comprehensive dietary intake data can be collected in a wide range of studies and settings. The Automated Self-Administered 24-hour (ASA24) Dietary Assessment Tool is a web-based system that guides respondents through 24-h recalls. The purpose of this paper is to describe lessons learned from five studies that assessed the feasibility and validity of ASA24 for capturing recall data among several population subgroups in Canada. These studies were conducted within a childcare setting (preschool children with reporting by parents), in public schools (children in grades 5–8; aged 10–13 years), and with community-based samples drawn from existing cohorts of adults and older adults. Themes emerged across studies regarding receptivity to completing ASA24, user experiences with the interface, and practical considerations for different populations. Overall, we found high acceptance of ASA24 among these diverse samples. However, the ASA24 interface was not intuitive for some participants, particularly young children and older adults. As well, technological challenges were encountered. These observations underscore the importance of piloting protocols using online tools, as well as consideration of the potential need for tailored resources to support study participants. Lessons gleaned can inform the effective use of technology-enabled dietary assessment tools in research.
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