Public Health Nutrition

Assessment and methodology

Formative evaluation of the feedback component of Children's and Adolescents’ Nutrition Assessment and Advice on the Web (CANAA-W) among parents of schoolchildren

Carine Vereeckena1a2 c1, Marc Coventsa3, Lea Maesa2 and Tinneke Moysona4

a1 Research Foundation–Flanders, Brussels, Belgium

a2 Department of Public Health, Ghent University, UH Block A, 2nd floor, De Pintelaan 185, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

a3 Testpracticum, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

a4 University College Ghent/Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


Objective The aim of the paper is to describe the formative evaluation of the feedback component of an online nutrition tailoring instrument, the Children's and Adolescents’ Nutrition Assessment and Advice on the Web (CANAA-W), among parents of schoolchildren.

Design Parents of pre-primary and primary-school children recorded their child's food intake over 3 d with CANAA-W and completed the evaluation questionnaire online. A subsample participated in focus group discussions.

Setting Parents completed CANAA-W at home.

Subjects Forty-six parents completed the evaluation questionnaire. Seventeen parents participated in three focus group discussions.

Results Parents were enthusiastic: the majority (81 % or more) found the advice comprehensible, interesting, logical, useful, believable, well formulated, correct, personal, relevant, complete, attractive, containing enough and not too much information; they indicated that it is helpful to improve their children's eating habits and that they intend to use it. The qualitative analyses revealed that the respondents appreciated the confrontation with their child's diet and the visualization (i.e. traffic light colours, pictograms, food models, diagrams). The length of the feedback was rather a drawback, but it was useful nevertheless.

Conclusions CANAA-W was well received by the parents; the scores on the feasibility questionnaire were high and the qualitative analyses showed that the confrontation with their child's diet, and attractive visualization of the most relevant feedback linked to more elaborated optional feedback, were well appreciated. The major challenge will be to convince parents who are less interested in food habits and less computer-literate to participate in this type of study.

(Received November 28 2011)

(Revised June 11 2012)

(Accepted June 14 2012)

(Online publication July 27 2012)


  • Internet;
  • Food habits;
  • Child;
  • Feasibility studies;
  • Tailored feedback;
  • Parent


c1 Corresponding author: Email