Reliability of the School Food Checklist for in-school audits and photo analysis of children's school lunches

Mitchell, S, Miles, C, Brennan, L and Matthews, J 2010, 'Reliability of the School Food Checklist for in-school audits and photo analysis of children's school lunches', Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 48-53.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Reliability of the School Food Checklist for in-school audits and photo analysis of children's school lunches
Author(s) Mitchell, S
Miles, C
Brennan, L
Matthews, J
Year 2010
Journal name Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume number 23
Issue number 1
Start page 48
End page 53
Total pages 6
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract Background: Assessment of children's diets is problematic, typically relying on error-prone parent or child recall or reporting, or resource intensive direct observation. The School Food Checklist (SFC) is an objective instrument comprising of 20 food and beverage categories designed to measure the foods contained in children's packed lunches. The present study aimed to assess intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of each of the food and beverage categories of the SFC for both in-school audits and photograph analysis of children's school lunches. Methods: Participants comprised 176 children aged 5-8 years from five primary schools in Northern Metropolitan Melbourne. The SFC was used to measure the foods contained in children's packed lunches in the school setting and using photographs. Photograph analysis was conducted by the auditors 2-3 months after completion of in-school audits. Results: Both intra-rater [intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.78-1] and inter-rater (ICC = 0.50-0.95) reliability analysis indicated strong agreement for in-school auditing. With the exception of the food category titled 'leftovers', there was strong intra-rater reliability for auditors' live audits and their analysis of photographs [ICC = 0.57-0.98 (Auditor 1); ICC = 0.72-0.90 (Auditor 2)], and strong inter-rater reliability for photograph analysis (ICC = 0.68-0.92). Conclusions: The SFC is a reliable method of measuring the foods and beverages contained in children's packed lunches when used in the school setting or for photograph analysis. This finding has broad implications, particularly for the use of photograph analysis, because this approach offers a convenient and cost effective method of measuring what food and beverages children bring to school in home packed lunches.
Keyword(s) children
diet
measure
reliability.
DOI - identifier 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2009.00996.x
ISSN 0952-3871
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