School-Age Children Can Recall Some Foods and Beverages Consumed the Prior Day Using the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24) without Assistance

J Nutr. 2019 Jun 1;149(6):1019-1026. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz013.


Background: Technological innovations allow for collection of 24-h recalls (24HRs) in a broader range of studies than previously possible. The web-based Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24) has been shown to be feasible and to perform well in capturing true intake among adults. However, data to inform use with children are limited.

Objective: This observational feeding study was conducted to evaluate children's ability to accurately report a lunchtime meal using ASA24 without assistance.

Methods: The study was conducted among children (n = 100) aged 10-13 y within a school setting. Students were served an individual cheese pizza, baby carrots, ranch dip, yogurt, a cookie, and 1 choice of water, juice, or milk. Plate waste was collected and weighed. The next day, participants completed ASA24 and a sociodemographic questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were generated to determine match rates by food item and age, and linear regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between sociodemographic characteristics and accuracy of reported energy and nutrient intake. Associations between true and reported energy and nutrient intakes and portion sizes were assessed with use of t tests.

Results: Just under half (49%) of children fully completed ASA24 (median time, 41 min). Children reported an exact, close, or far match for 58% of all foods and beverages consumed, ranging from 29% for dip to 76% for pizza, but also reported some items not consumed as part of the study meal. Older children completed the recall in a shorter time than younger children (mean 31 among 13 y compared with 52 min among 10 y). Intakes of energy (39%), protein (33%), and sodium (78%) were significantly overestimated, whereas portion sizes for cookies (53%) and juice (69%) were underestimated.

Conclusions: Children can report some foods and drinks consumed using ASA24, but our findings suggest challenges with independent completion, necessitating research to examine strategies, such as training and resources, to support data quality.

Keywords: 24-h recalls; Automated Self-Administered Dietary Assessment Tool; children; dietary intake; validation feeding study.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Beverages
  • Child
  • Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Diet Records*
  • Eating*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lunch
  • Male
  • Meals
  • Mental Recall
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Ontario
  • Portion Size
  • Self Report