Image_2_Development and Usability Study of an Open-Access Interviewer-Administered Automated 24-h Dietary Recall Tool in Argentina: MAR24.jpg
Background: Latin American countries show a fast-growing rate of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and diet is a critical risk factor that must be properly assessed. Automated dietary assessment tools to collect 24-h dietary recalls (24HR) are lacking in Argentina.
Objective: This study aimed to develop an open-access automated tool (MAR24) for collecting 24HR using a multiple pass method and a database containing foods and recipes commonly consumed in Argentina.
Methods: MAR24 was developed based on data from 1,285 24HR provided by male and female participants aged 18 to 68 years from the six Argentinian geographical regions. The main structure and interface of the tool were designed using Visual Basic for Applications programming language in Excel Microsoft Office 365, integrating the five steps of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Automated Multiple-Pass Method (AMPM) for the application of 24HR in Spanish. The tool underwent alpha testing and expert assessment to address structural and usability issues. Critical feedback and face validation from researchers and experienced dietitians, and repeated testing to collect 24HR were used to adjust and improve the tool.
Results: A total of 968 food items and 100 standard Argentinian recipes were added to its database. MAR24 allows the estimation of the nutrient profile of dietary intake. The analytic food composition includes energy and 50 nutrients including water, macronutrients, total dietary fiber, total sugar, 10 minerals, 19 vitamins, eight fatty acids, cholesterol, ethyl alcohol, caffeine, and theobromine. MAR24 includes a user manual and technical manual to guide users to apply changes (e.g., add foods or recipes, or change food designation according to local terms) to fit different research and clinical applications.
Conclusions: MAR24 is the first tool that uses the AMPM methodology for 24HR applications in Argentina. The tool may be used in clinical practice and clinical trials for monitoring purposes, and in validation of food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) for nutritional epidemiology studies addressing dietary-associated risk factors for NCDs.