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Open AccessArticle

Image-Based Dietary Assessment Ability of Dietetics Students and Interns

College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Nutrition, Oregon State University, 101 Milam Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331-3303, USA
Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6102, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 114;
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology Based Approaches to Dietary Intake Assessment)
Image-based dietary assessment (IBDA) may improve the accuracy of dietary assessments, but no formalized training currently exists for skills relating to IBDA. This study investigated nutrition and dietetics students’ and interns’ IBDA abilities, the training and experience factors that may contribute to food identification and quantification accuracy, and the perceived challenges to performing IBDA. An online survey containing images of known foods and serving sizes representing common American foods was used to assess the ability to identify foods and serving sizes. Nutrition and dietetics students and interns from the United States and Australia (n = 114) accurately identified foods 79.5% of the time. Quantification accuracy was lower, with only 38% of estimates within ±10% of the actual weight. Foods of amorphous shape or higher energy density had the highest percent error. Students expressed general difficulty with perceiving serving sizes, making IBDA food quantification more difficult. Experience cooking at home from a recipe, frequent measuring of portions, and having a food preparation or cooking laboratory class were associated with enhanced accuracy in IBDA. Future training of dietetics students should incorporate more food-based serving size training to improve quantification accuracy while performing IBDA, while advances in IBDA technology are also needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary assessment; image-based dietary records; dietetics education; serving-size estimation dietary assessment; image-based dietary records; dietetics education; serving-size estimation
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Howes, E.; Boushey, C.J.; Kerr, D.A.; Tomayko, E.J.; Cluskey, M. Image-Based Dietary Assessment Ability of Dietetics Students and Interns. Nutrients 2017, 9, 114.

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