Evaluation of a bar-code system for nutrient analysis in dietary surveys

Annie S. Anderson, Linda Maher, Tom K. Ha, Josephine Cooney, Susan Eley, Marilyn Martin, Giacimo Vespasiani, Mauro Bruni, Michael E. J. Lean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: A novel system for nutrient analysis has been developed and tested over 5 years. Its key features are a nutrient database of 600 commonly eaten foods (95% of foods eaten in 7-day surveys); a booklet identifying each food with a bar code, bar codes for gram weight and for portion sizes (small, medium, large) and a bar-code reader with dietary analysis software for PCs. In the present study the bar-code system has been evaluated by comparison with a commonly used manual entry nutrient analysis software for dietitians' use. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Glasgow city district. Subjects: One hundred and sixty adults aged 18-65 years old. Results: Comparing mean intakes for macro- and micronutrients, using the Bland and Altman method, the bias between the two methods was small, ranging from 0.93 to 1.03. The bar- code system took significantly less professional time in data entry and nutrient analysis than the widely used manual system (29 min per 7-day diary vs. 47 min per 7-day diary, P<0.001). Conclusions: It is suggested that the bar-code system offers greater speed with a saving of professional time needed for nutrient analysis of dietary surveys, This system is commended for maintaining accuracy while promoting economy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)579-586
    Number of pages8
    JournalPublic Health Nutrition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • Dietary intakes
    • Nutrient analysis


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