Validation of a recommender system for prompting omitted foods in online dietary assessment surveys

Timur Osadchiy, Ivan Poliakov, Patrick Olivier, Maisie Rowland, Emma Foster

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    Recall assistance methods are among the key aspects that improve the accuracy of online dietary assessment surveys. These methods still mainly rely on experience of trained interviewers with nutritional background, but data driven approaches could improve cost-efficiency and scalability of automated dietary assessment. We evaluated the effectiveness of a recommender algorithm developed for an online dietary assessment system called Intake24, that automates the multiple-pass 24-hour recall method. The recommender builds a model of eating behavior from recalls collected in past surveys. Based on foods they have already selected, the model is used to remind respondents of associated foods that they may have omitted to report. The performance of prompts generated by the model was compared to that of prompts hand-coded by nutritionists in two dietary studies. The results of our studies demonstrate that the recommender system is able to capture a higher number of foods omitted by respondents of online dietary surveys than prompts hand-coded by nutritionists. However, the considerably lower precision of generated prompts indicates an opportunity for further improvement of the system.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPervasiveHealth'19 - Proceedings of the 13th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare
    Subtitle of host publication20-23 May 2019, Trento, Italy
    EditorsJochen Meyer, Lena Mamykina
    Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450361262
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventInternational Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare 2019 - Trento, Italy
    Duration: 20 May 201923 May 2019
    Conference number: 13th (Proceedings)


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare 2019
    Abbreviated titlePervasiveHealth 2019
    Internet address


    • Dietary assessment
    • Healthcare technology
    • Recommender systems
    • Usability

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