7-Day 24-Hour Food Intake and Computer Analysis

7-Day 24-Hour Food Intake and Computer Analysis

3 Day Computer AssessmentHLTHST 207, Nutrition

The 3 day assignment includes multiple components:

  1. Keeping a detailed written food diary of your intake for one week.
  2. Completing the Intake Assessment Worksheet.
  3. Entering 3 of the most typical day’s intake into the Diet Analysis Plus (DA+) software.
  4. Using the DA+ reports to complete the tables.
  5. A detailed, written summary paper discussing the results of your worksheet and computer analysis.

Directions for 24-Hour Food Record:

Record 7 days of food intake using the attached food record form. The reporting forms are part of the assignment, and must be typed. The feeling/challenges column will be used to compare your “usual” intake to your Personal Project diet later in the semester.

You will choose THREE days from your food record to complete the computer analysis. Select the ones that are the most typical. Consider using two week days and a weekend, or a balance of work vs. “off” days.

When recording your food intake on the record forms:

  • Dates will be used when entering food intake on DAPLUS
  • Include amounts consumed in “typical” household units (oz., cups, slices, tsp, etc)
  • Describe food items consumed in detail (type of milk, meat, salad dressing, cereal, etc)
  • For mixed foods, such as casseroles or sandwiches or burrito, describe main ingredients with some details (e.g., 2 oz. flour tortilla, 2 oz. grated cheddar cheese, ½ cup vegetarian refried beans, 1 cup shredded lettuce, ¼ cup chopped tomato, 2 tbsp sour cream (regular not nonfat), 2 tbsp salsa).

The key to this record keeping is could someone take your Food Record Forms and complete an accurate dietary analysis. For example, consider a food record where cereal is listed? What type of cereal was it, was milk consumed, if so how much? What was in the casserole? For a hamburger – what was the amountof beef or did you have a vegetarian burger – type of bun, sauce, condiments?

Directions for Computer Analysis (DAPLUS):

To use DAPLUS, you need to be using a computer with Internet access and a printer. When you start the program, you are “linked” online to the Diet Analysis Plus program. By purchasing the software, you will always have this access. Instructions accompany the CD-ROM. If you are using the software in HSR, you may find the HELP function useful.

Diet Analysis Plus (DAP+ 8.0) is on the computers in the Student Resource Room in Health Science Riverside 206. The software is also available in labs off campus (West Valley, MHAFB, and Gowen Field). The software may also be purchased at the Boise State University Bookstore.

There are slight format differences between the 7.0 to the 8.0 versions.

Entering Data

To start, click on the DA+ icon

Follow the directions on “Quick Start” to set up a profile.

NOTE: When entering your profile, you will see options such as “use,” “edit,”, “export,” and “import.” These options are important if you plan to use different computers or wish to save your work to a disk or jump drive (and print later). For more tips, use the HELP button. See the last page of “DAP 7.01” file on Blackboard for import & export details.

After your profile is set up, go to Track Diet

Find foods using the Search Function.

Enter the correct portion size.


  • Notice the calendar when entering your food intake. Make a note of the dates of your intake. You will use these dates when selecting the days for your reports.
  • When you search for a food item, the more common items and serving sizes will appear first. You can change serving sizes (amounts and units).
  • For more information about a food, click on i. This function is very useful.
  • Adjust the B/L/D and Snacks format to your schedule (i.e., meal 1, 2, 3 etc).
  • If you have difficulty finding a food item, substitute a similar item.

After entering your intake, it is a good idea to check your data entry. You can delete items by clicking on the “x.” Amounts or serving size are corrected by left clicking on the item; this will bring up the dialog box.

Activities can be also tracked on DAPLUS, but are not required for this assignment.


Checking For Errors:

After you have entered three days, go to “Create Reports.” Select the intake vs. goals report for each day (this is done one day at a time). By reviewing your intake vs. goals reports, you may be able to find and correct data entry errors.

How do you find errors? Look at each day and check kcal to see if the number is realistic (for example, a 10,000 kcal intake might suggest a data error). Kcal help provide clues to problems with portion sizes (slice of cake or the whole cake? Orange juice concentrate or orange juice prepared with water? 10 chips or 10 oz. of chips? Loaf of bread or slice of bread?) Some errors are more difficult to find.

For this assignment, it is most important to have amounts and serving sizes correct.

It is not necessary to print hard copies of the reports to complete the assignment, provided that you have access to the program while you are completing the worksheets and summary.


Date / Time / Food & amount / Feeling / challenges

Summary Tables for 3-Day DAPLUS Assignment

Enter the following information from your Profile Report

Name / Age
Height / Weight / BMI
Activity / Smoker / Vegetarian

Table 1 – Energy Nutrient Intakes (Percentage of Kcal)

  • Column 1: Select a percentage within the recommended range that represents what you think is most appropriate for you. This is a single number, not a range.
  • Column 2-5: To see how your intake compares to your goals, fill in your percentages for days 1-3 and for your 3-day average. These are from the Macronutrient Report. Your percentages are found in the “box” labeled “Energy Nutrient Intake and DRI Goal Ranges Compared”.
  • Percentages of Kcal do not tell the whole story… go on to Table 2.

Table 1.
Percentage / AMDR % / Your
Goal % / Day 1
% / Day 2
% / Day 3
% / Average



/ 45-65%
Fat / 20-35%
Protein / 10-35%

Table 2 – Macronutrients (Goals, Intakes, and Average)

  • Column 1: From the Intake vs Goals report, enter the DRI range in grams
  • Column 2-4: Enter your intake of energy nutrients in grams for carbohydrate, fat, and protein in this table for each day.
  • Part 2, column 1: Enter your DRI goal for Kcal
  • Part 2, column 2-4: Enter your Kcal intake and your intake as a % of Kcal supplied. The percentage of kcal is found on the arrow to the right of your intake.
  • Intakes of macronutrients increase/decrease as your intake of kcal increase/decrease.

Table 2.
Grams / DRI
Goal range g / Day 1
g / Day 2
g / Day 3
g / Average


Kcal / Day
Kcal / Day
Kcal / Day
Kcal / Average


%kcal goal supplied

3 Day Vitamin and Mineral Evaluation

Use the Intake vs. Goals report to complete the following tables. Enter the DRI and your 3 day average intake in colums 1 & 2. Column 3 is the percentage listed to the right of the yellow arrows. The % Kcal RDA is at the top of each bar graph; place this value in column 4 (The same number is used for all nutrients in column 4).

To calculate your nutrient density ratio (column 5) divide column 3 by column 4. Keep two decimal places in nutrient density ratio. A nutrient density ratio greater than 1.00:1 means that your vitamin (or mineral intake) is proportional to your kcal intake. If the ratio is less than 1.00, then your intake of the vitamin is low for your intake of kcal (on that day).

Table 3 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
DRI, RDA, or AI / 3 Day Average
Vitamin /Mineral Intake / % RDA or AI supplied / % Kcal RDA supplied / Nutrient density ratio
Vitamin A / g/day / g/day
Vitamin C / mg/day / mg/day
Thiamin / mg/day / mg/day
Riboflavin / mg/day / mg/day
Niacin / mg/day / mg/day
B6 / mg/day / mg/day
B12 / g/day / g/day
Folate / g/day / g/day
Calcium / mg/day / mg/day
Iron / mg/day / mg/day
Sodium / mg/day / mg/day

*****Sodium – this grid shows 3 ways to assess sodium

Column 1: RDA Column 2: the %RDA from DA+printouts Column 3: list the DV for sodium. Column 4: your intake of sodium (mg). Divide your intake by the DV and express as a percentage (Column 5). Another way to evaluate your sodium intake is to compare your intake in milligrams to your kcal intake. For this calculation, place your kcal intake in column 6. Divide column 4 by column 6 to get your intake of sodium per kcal (column 7). A general guideline is to consume no more than 1-2 mg sodium per kcal.

RDA / %RDA / Daily Value /

Sodium Intake

(mg/day) / % Daily
Value / Kcal
intake / mg/Kcal

Written Summary:

Prepare a summary of your 3-day analysis using information from the Intake Assessment Worksheet, completed tables as well as the information found on the reports from DAPlus.

Your summary needs to include the following:

Qualitative Assessment of your food diary
  • Trends: What patterns of intake did you discover? What are the impacts of habit, comfort, association, media, preference? Are factors chronic or acute?
  • Environmental Factors: economic, lifestyle, availability, people
  • Culture: How does your culture affect your food choices? Which of the foods that you eat have a strong cultural component? Do these foods have a greater effect on the macronutrients or micronutrients?
Quantitative Assessment of your food diary
  • A comparison of your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake (macronutrients) to recommended amounts. Use values from your printouts and tables. To support your statements, go back to your food intake and determine what foods provide these macronutrients. Compare your macronutrient data with your predictions (from the worksheet).
  • Evaluation of your intake of vitamins and minerals. Include specific information from your dietary analyses including the percentage of recommended intake & the nutrient density. Use the Intake Spreadsheet and Source Analysis reports to support your observations. Compare your micronutrient data with your predictions.

Example: To increase my carbohydrate intake, I could eat more breads, milk or fruits. Most of my current carbohydrates are breads. My average vitamin C intake was 73%, but ranged from 4%-226%. By eating more fruit, I would improve both carbohydrate and vitamin C intake. Most days my calcium intake was around 60%, but two high intake days brought my average up to 93%. Drinking milk more consistently would improve both carbohydrates and calcium.

  • Discussion of Nutrient Density Does this calculation give you different information or insight that the % values from the computer evaluation? Explain.
  • Discussion of the different ways to calculate sodium. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Which is most appropriate for you and why?
  • Discussion of food sources. How accurately did the food guide pyramid predict your highs and lows of nutrient intake? Which foods provide you with the most and least nutrients?
Plans for Improvement
  • Suggest ways to improve (or maintain) your macronutrient, vitamins, minerals and kcal intakes.
  • List foods that you are willing and able to eat to accomplish those goals.

Submit the following (all word processed)

Food Diary (p3)

Completed Tables (pp 4-5)

Summary / Essay (double-spaced; 12 point font)

The assignment can be submitted either electronically or hard copy. All portions must be submitted in the same format. Electronic copies must be submitted as a single Word file with all 3 components included. Electronic submissions are to be sent by email. Hard copies need to be stapled before class. Assignments are due at 6 pm, on the assigned date. Computers eat data, printers run out of ink. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this assignment.


3 Day Computer AssessmentHLTHST 207, Nutrition

3 Day Rubric
/ 3 / 2 / 1 / 0 / Pt
Food Diary / Detailed and complete. Mixed foods listed as components. Portions, dates and times included. / Omits beverages. Doesn’t break down combination foods into components. / Not Included / 3
Summary Tables / Tables complete and accurate / Miscalculations or Improbable data suggesting entry errors. Incomplete Tables / Not Included / 6
Qualitative / Detailed discussion of trends and factors contributing to intake. / Vague, generalized or superficial observations / Not included / 6
Culture / Identifies foods that are culturally significant to the student. Nutrition of those foods is considered. Considers multiple aspects of culture. / Cultural food intake not addressed. Considers a single aspect of culture. No nutrient discussion / Not Included / 6
Quantitative / Includes discussion of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Uses data to support observations. Sodium & nutrient density calculations evaluated. Discusses the strengths and weaknesses of current intake. Compares to predictions. / Detailed, but rambling. Little data used to support observations. / Missing discussion on one or more of the following: carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, or minerals, nutrient density, sodium, food sources. Strengths / Weaknesses not discussed. No data. / Not Included / 12
Plans for Improvement / Identifies a plan for improvement which is practical and detailed. Facts are correct. Identifies specific foods to improve intake. / Good plan, but impractical. / Reflects misinformation or factual errors. Uses broad categories rather than specific foods. / Not Included
Lists vit/min supplement as solution. / 4
Professionalism / No misspelled words or grammatical errors. Double spaced. Includes assignment title and student name. / No more than 2 spelling / grammatical errors. / Spelling/grammar errors distracting to content. Not proofread. Incomplete / run-on sentences. Wrong format. / 3
Bonus (+5), Late Penalty (-4 / -8) / /40