Performance of the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall relative to a measure of true intakes and to an interviewer-administered 24-h recall

Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100(1):233-40. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.083238. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


Background: The Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Recall (ASA24), a freely available Web-based tool, was developed to enhance the feasibility of collecting high-quality dietary intake data from large samples.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the criterion validity of ASA24 through a feeding study in which the true intake for 3 meals was known.

Design: True intake and plate waste from 3 meals were ascertained for 81 adults by inconspicuously weighing foods and beverages offered at a buffet before and after each participant served him- or herself. Participants were randomly assigned to complete an ASA24 or an interviewer-administered Automated Multiple-Pass Method (AMPM) recall the following day. With the use of linear and Poisson regression analysis, we examined the associations between recall mode and 1) the proportions of items consumed for which a match was reported and that were excluded, 2) the number of intrusions (items reported but not consumed), and 3) differences between energy, nutrient, food group, and portion size estimates based on true and reported intakes.

Results: Respondents completing ASA24 reported 80% of items truly consumed compared with 83% in AMPM (P = 0.07). For both ASA24 and AMPM, additions to or ingredients in multicomponent foods and drinks were more frequently omitted than were main foods or drinks. The number of intrusions was higher in ASA24 (P < 0.01). Little evidence of differences by recall mode was found in the gap between true and reported energy, nutrient, and food group intakes or portion sizes.

Conclusions: Although the interviewer-administered AMPM performed somewhat better relative to true intakes for matches, exclusions, and intrusions, ASA24 performed well. Given the substantial cost savings that ASA24 offers, it has the potential to make important contributions to research aimed at describing the diets of populations, assessing the effect of interventions on diet, and elucidating diet and health relations. This trial was registered at as NCT00978406.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Random Allocation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult

Associated data