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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348912

Research Project: Nutrients, Aging, and Musculoskeletal Function

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Use of diet-tracking websites as a resource for hard-to-find food label information: an example using specialty grocery store items

Author
item Gilhooly, Cheryl - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Movsesian, Stephanie - Boston Heart Diagnostics
item Royal, Natalie - Providence Health & Services
item Chew, Anna - Fresenius Medical Care North
item Qiao, Ning - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: Procedia Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/17/2015
Publication Date: 7/1/2015
Citation: Gilhooly, C., Movsesian, S., Royal, N., Chew, A., Qiao, N. 2015. Use of diet-tracking websites as a resource for hard-to-find food label information: an example using specialty grocery store items. Procedia Food Science. 4:55-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profoo.2015.06.009.

Interpretive Summary: The nutrient contents of specialty foods cannot be found in many research-focused food databases. However, some nutrient data can be found for these specialty foods through individual website searches using brand and store names. For example, some popular diet-tracking websites contain data for over 3 million foods. The limitation of these nutrient data is that they are often entered by consumers and based on non-systematic searches. The reliability of these data to guide research dietary data entry decisions is unknown. To address this, five popular diet-tracking websites were used to compare the availability and accuracy of data for food items from a specialty grocery store that are currently unavailable in research-focused food databases. The majority of food labels selected had available nutrient data on at least one website. However over 30% of foods had at least one inaccurate entry. The presence of duplicate and inaccurate entries in these diet-tracking websites highlights the need for caution when using these sites to guide dietary data entry decisions.

Technical Abstract: Many specialty foods cannot be found in research-focused food databases. However, some nutrient data can be found for many of these foods through individual website searches using brand and store names. Some popular diet-tracking websites contain data for over 3 million foods, data often entered by consumers, based on non-systematic searches. The reliability of these data to guide dietary data entry decisions are unknown. Five popular diet-tracking websites were used to compare the availability and accuracy of data for food items from a specialty grocery store that are currently unavailable in research-focused food databases.