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Spotlight on Applied Research

Measures & Methods

Updated Online Tools Available to Assess Diet in Adults and Children!

An updated version of an innovative dietary assessment tool, the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recall (ASA24™), was released in February 2014. ASA24-2014 and ASA24-Kids-2014 are freely available web-based software tools that enable automated self-administered 24-hour dietary recalls. They consist of a Respondent application used by participants to enter recall data and a Researcher application used by researchers to manage study logistics and obtain data analyses. The children's version has a shortened list of foods and beverages based on those reported by children in national surveillance studies and fewer detailed food preparation questions. However, the children's version maintains the look and feel as well as the methodology and features of ASA24 for adults. ASA24-2014-Kids is intended for children ages 10 years and older.

Key features of ASA24-2014 and ASA24-Kids-2014 include:

  • a self-administered tool modeled on USDA's Automated Multiple Pass Method (AMPM) used to collect interviewer-administered recalls in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES);
  • the ability to complete the recalls in English or Spanish;
  • detailed probe questions to assess food preparation, additions to foods and portion sizes consumed;
  • optional modules to query where meals were eaten, whether meals were eaten alone or with others, television and computer use during meals, source of each food or drink, and dietary supplement intake;
  • more than 10,000 images to assist respondents in reporting portion size; and
  • multiple editing options that allow the respondent to add or modify food and drink choices.

Two large evaluation studies have been analyzed and manuscripts are in progress. The NCI scientific leads are Drs. Amy F. Subar, Nancy Potischman, Frances E. Thompson, and Gordon Willis, all in ARP. Sharon Kirkpatrick, currently at the University of Waterloo, Canada, formerly in ARP, also led its development.

ASA24 can be used by researchers for epidemiologic, intervention, behavioral, or clinical research. Clinicians may also find it helpful for diet assessment and nutrition counseling, and educators may find it to be a useful teaching tool. To date, more than 950 studies have registered to use ASA24 and more than 130,000 24-hour recalls have been collected. Adaptation of the traditional interviewer-administered 24-hour dietary recall to a fully automated tool has the potential to revolutionize dietary assessment by enhancing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of collecting high-quality dietary data. ASA24 was developed by NCI and Westat.

Details on ASA24-2014 and ASA24-2014-Kids, including information on registering a study and a link to Respondent Web site demonstrations of both tools, are available on the ASA24 Web site. Work is underway to develop ASA24-Mobile.

Last Modified: 27 Jun 2014