Diet tracking system to inform public health in Malaysia

A new Monash University project will help to capture food consumption data with an aim to inform and enhance public health and nutrition policy in Malaysia

Intake24 is an open-source online tool used for recording dietary intake information. The system was originally developed in the UK for Food Standards Scotland by human-computer interaction expert Professor Patrick Olivier and nutrition researcher Dr Emma Foster from Monash University, Australia.

Professor Olivier, Director of Monash University’s Action Lab, said Intake24 is a technology-based alternative to capture food consumption data from participants. The web-based dietary recall tool includes a comprehensive food list which is linked to food composition data and food portion size images.

The entire recording process takes around 20 minutes to complete, and the nutritional composition of the participant’s food consumption can be downloaded as soon as the data has been submitted.

“This project will develop Intake24 for use in Malaysia including translation to Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, addition of foods to the database to cover the diverse range of ingredients and dishes consumed in the region, food photographs for portion size estimation of regional foods and links to food composition data,” Dr Foster said.

The Intake24 Malaysia project, led by Monash University Malaysia (MUM), is a collaboration between researchers from MUM, Monash University’s Action Lab and experts from University of Cambridge’s MRC Epidemiology Unit.

Nutrition scientist and Project Lead Dr Amutha Ramadas from MUM said the country is experiencing an increasing trend in diet-related non-communicable diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases.

“The development of effective interventions for these conditions requires us to understand the diet of a specific population. Intake24 will allow for a more accurate capture of dietary data and help to better inform public health policies in Malaysia,” Dr Ramadas said.

The researchers plan to develop Intake24 Malaysia by 2023 and start capturing participant data in Malaysia by 2024.

Image credit- shutterstock

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