Collection Methods for the 24-Hour Dietary Recall as Used in theExpanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

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Abstract

Objective:

Identify practices for the collection of the 24-hour dietary recall (24HR) as used by the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to assess the fidelity with which dietary data are collected.

Methods:

An electronic survey sent nationally to all 75 EFNEP coordinators to assess methodology for collection, staff training, and coding of 24HR.

Results:

A total of 67 surveys were returned, 53 of which were usable: 57% of programs used multiple collection periods (previous day vs previous 24 hours), 36% did not use a consistent number of passes in recall collection; only 17% exclusively used the validated 5-pass method; 88% trained paraprofessionals for ≤8 hours on recall collection and >6 different training programs were used; and 86% of programs used multiple coders.

Conclusions and Implications:

The wide variation in reported collection, training, and coding practices raises concerns about the validity of the recall data and the appropriateness of combining data from multiple programs. To improve consistency, EFNEP could establish standardized methods for training, data collection, and data entry for the 24HR. These results may encourage the national program office to establish programmatic change that will support the fidelity of collection methods across all programs.

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