Comparison between optical readable and open-ended weighed food records

  • Margaretha Nydahl
  • Inga-Britt Gustafsson
  • Rawya Mohsen
  • Wulf Becker
Keywords: optically readable food record, weighed registration, urine nitrogen, portion sizes


Background: A simplified optically readable food record (ORFR) was developed and compared with an openended
weighed record (WR).
Objective: To compare intake of nutrients and foods using a seven-day ORFR with intake estimated using a
seven-day WR. The results from each method were validated against 24-h urine nitrogen excretion and energy
intake (EI)/estimated basal metabolic rate (BMR) cut-off values.
Design: The study comprised 73 free-living, healthy 70-year-old Swedish men. Dietary data were collected
during seven consecutive days, starting either with WR or ORFR.
Results: Average intakes of energy and several nutrients were significantly lower when estimated using ORFR
than when using WR. However, when adjusted for nutrient density, only a few nutrients were still lower with
ORFR. Spearman correlation coefficients between the two methods regarding intakes of energy and energyyielding
nutrients were moderate to high, i.e. 0.4-0.6, while figures for most micro-nutrients were in the range
0.3-0.5. A large proportion of subjects under-reported their EIs, a higher proportion doing so when using
ORFR. Protein intake obtained using ORFR was 31% lower than the values calculated from the 24-h urine
nitrogen excretion, and 22% lower than those obtained from WR. Average intakes of milk, cheese and other
milk products as well as coffee, tea and alcohol were significantly higher when estimated using ORFR than
when using WR, while intakes of vegetables, meat and meat products, fish, bread and cereal products as well
as number of sweet foods were significantly lower with ORFR.
Conclusions: Based on these results, adjustments of some portion sizes in ORFR are suggested. In view of the
advantages of ORFR with respect to lower response burden and rapid processing of data, such adjustments
would make ORFR a suitable dietary assessment tool for use in dietary surveys, including larger resourcedemanding
epidemiological investigations.


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How to Cite
Nydahl M., Gustafsson I.-B., Mohsen R., & Becker W. (2009). Comparison between optical readable and open-ended weighed food records. Food & Nutrition Research, 53.
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