Gambian Food Records: a New Framework for Computer Coding
Source: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Volume 15, Number 4, August 2002 , pp. 349-357(9)
Publisher: Academic Press
Abstract:Gambian weighed dietary records have been collected over many years as part of health-related studies and an extensive database of Gambian foods has been established. The diet of rural Gambians is relatively limited consisting of rice, accompanied by sauces, based on groundnuts, leaves and fish. However, there are several extra ingredients that, although present in very small quantities, are rich sources of micro-nutrients such as calcium. A coding problem arises when the weighed meal consists of a sauce containing pre-mixed additional ingredients and when rice and sauce are weighed together. Previously, all records had to be coded manually which was slow with potential for error. The computerized coding system, Diet in, Data out (DIDO) previously set up for U.K. records, has been adapted to the Gambian diet. The DIDO menu is arranged in a pyramidal structure where the principal menu lists 20 food groups, each of which has a series of sub-menus. A particular feature is the inclusion of a wide range of prepared dishes. The entire menu offers 500 foods. A comparative study of coding by Gambian and British researchers identified particular foods where coding was inconsistent due to lack of food detail. This has highlighted the importance of adequate identification of food items and the need to develop a strategy for standardized default codes for these foods.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 2002