British Journal of Nutrition

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Comparison between an interactive web-based self-administered 24 h dietary record and an interview by a dietitian for large-scale epidemiological studies

Mathilde Touviera1 c1, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyota1, Caroline Méjeana1, Clothilde Polleta1, Aurélie Malona1, Katia Castetbona2 and Serge Hercberga1a2a3

a1 Unité de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle (UREN), UMR U557 Inserm, U1125 Inra, Cnam, Paris 13, CRNH IdF, SMBH Paris 13, 74 rue Marcel Cachin, F-93017 Bobigny Cedex, France

a2 Unité de Surveillance et d'Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle (USEN), Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Université Paris 13, 74 rue Marcel Cachin, F-93017 Bobigny Cedex, France

a3 Département de Santé Publique, Hôpital Avicenne, F-93017 Bobigny Cedex, France


Online self-administered data collection, by reducing the logistic burden and cost, could advantageously replace classical methods based on dietitian's interviews when assessing dietary intake in large epidemiological studies. Studies comparing such new instruments with traditional methods are necessary. Our objective was to compare one NutriNet-Santé web-based self-administered 24 h dietary record with one 24 h recall carried out by a dietitian. Subjects completed the web-based record, which was followed the next day by a dietitian-conducted 24 h recall by telephone (corresponding to the same day and using the same computerised interface for data entry). The subjects were 147 volunteers aged 48–75 years (women 59·2 %). The study was conducted in February 2009 in France. Agreement was assessed by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for foods and energy-adjusted Pearson's correlations for nutrients. Agreement between the two methods was high, although it may have been overestimated because the two assessments were consecutive to one another. Among consumers only, the median of ICC for foods was 0·8 in men and 0·7 in women (range 0·5–0·9). The median of energy-adjusted Pearson's correlations for nutrients was 0·8 in both sexes (range 0·6–0·9). The mean Pearson correlation was higher in subjects ≤ 60 years (P = 0·02) and in those who declared being ‘experienced/expert’ with computers (P = 0·0003), but no difference was observed according to educational level (P = 0·12). The mean completion time was similar between the two methods (median for both methods: 25 min). The web-based method was preferred by 66·1 % of users. Our web-based dietary assessment, permitting considerable logistic simplification and cost savings, may be highly advantageous for large population-based surveys.

(Received June 07 2010)

(Revised September 17 2010)

(Accepted October 13 2010)

(Online publication November 17 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr M. Touvier, fax +33 1 48 38 89 31, email


Abbreviations: ICC, intraclass correlation coefficient