Comparison of different approaches to calculate nutrient intakes based upon 24-h recall data derived from a multicenter study in European adolescents

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Mar;55(2):537-545. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-0870-9. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


Purpose: The European "Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence" (HELENA) project evaluated two different approaches to harmonize the matching procedures between 24-h recall data and food composition databases. In the first approach, the 24-h recall data were linked to the local/national food composition databases using standardized procedures, while in the second approach, the 24-h recall data were linked to the German BLS database which includes a larger food list. The aim of this paper was to compare the intakes of energy and eight nutrient components calculated via both approaches.

Methods: Two non-consecutive 24-h recalls were performed in 1268 adolescents. Energy, carbohydrates, proteins, fat, fiber, water, alcohol, calcium and vitamin C were calculated via the two approaches at individual level. Paired samples t test and Pearson's correlations were used to compare the mean intakes of energy and the eight mentioned nutrients and to investigate the possible associations between the two approaches.

Results: Small but significant differences were found between the intakes of energy and the eight food components when comparing both approaches. Very strong and strong correlations (0.70-0.95) were found between both methods for all nutrients.

Conclusion: The dietary intakes obtained via the two different linking procedures are highly correlated for energy and the eight nutrients under study.

Keywords: 24-h dietary recall; Comparative study; Food composition database; Nutrients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Diet Surveys / methods*
  • Diet*
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • White People


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Ascorbic Acid