The acceptability of repeat Internet-based hybrid diet assessment of previous 24-h dietary intake: administration of the Oxford WebQ in UK Biobank

Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 28;115(4):681-6. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515004821. Epub 2015 Dec 11.


Although dietary intake over a single 24-h period may be atypical of an individual's habitual pattern, multiple 24-h dietary assessments can be representative of habitual intake and help in assessing seasonal variation. Web-based questionnaires are convenient for the participant and result in automatic data capture for study investigators. This study reports on the acceptability of repeated web-based administration of the Oxford WebQ--a 24-h recall of frequency from a set food list suitable for self-completion from which energy and nutrient values can be automatically generated. As part of the UK Biobank study, four invitations to complete the Oxford WebQ were sent by email over a 16-month period. Overall, 176 012 (53% of those invited) participants completed the online version of the Oxford WebQ at least once and 66% completed it more than once, although only 16% completed it on all four occasions. The response rate for any one round of invitations varied between 34 and 26%. On most occasions, the Oxford WebQ was completed on the same day that they received the invitation, although this was less likely if sent on a weekend. Participants who completed the Oxford WebQ tended to be white, female, slightly older, less deprived and more educated, which is typical of health-conscious volunteer-based studies. These findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest that repeated 24-h dietary assessment via the Internet is acceptable to the public and a feasible strategy for large population-based studies.

Keywords: Acceptability; Diet; Dietary assessment; Internet.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Educational Status
  • Electronic Mail
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Nutrition Surveys / methods*
  • Patient Preference
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Sex Characteristics
  • United Kingdom