An Exploratory Study Of Visual Aids Using Life-Sized Photographs Of Serve/ Portion Sizes Of Foods And Their Effectiveness In Recording Dietary Intakes

Shamsul Azahari Zainal Badari, Norhasmah Sulaiman
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Jayashree Arcot
Food Science and Technology Group, School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Norhasmah Sulaiman
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia


The aim of the present study was to develop life-sized food photographs as a tool for dietary intake assessment. This was an experimental study and used weighed record method to measure the dietary intake of subjects and a one-day 24-hour recall method was used to compare with the weighed record method. A total of fifteen subjects of Universiti Putra Malaysia staff with monthly household income below than MYR2300 (low income) were selected. From a hundred and sixteen food items were photographed, eleven of them were chosen for validation. A paired samples t-test showed that the percent weight differences between weighed record and 24-hour recall methods was between -10.7 to 5.3%, and foods that had definitive shape and form couldn’t be estimated by the subjects. A correlation analyses between the two methods shows that there was a significant correlation (p≤0.01) between these two methods. Nutrient intake analyses show that macronutrient intakes differed between 8.1 to 11%, while for other nutrients the differences were between -2.0 to 3.1%. Findings showed that there was no significant difference between both methods for nutrients (p≥0.05), while vitamin A and C (p≤<0.01) and iron (p≤0.05) had positive correlation. An accurate estimation of micronutrient intakes for 24-hour recall method shows that these photographs can be used in dietary intake assessment to reduce the error and increase the accuracy in food and nutrient intakes estimation.

Keywords: Food photographs, Weighed record, 24-hour recall, Dietary assessment, Exploratory