Background/Aims: Snacking is common in New Zealand (NZ) women.However, there are few validated tools available to quickly assess foods and food combinations consumed as a snack. This study aimed to develop and validate a Snack Eating Assessment Tool (S-EAT) that assesses the usual snacking habits of NZ women, including the types, combinations and timing of snacks.
Methods: An online self-administered eating habits questionnaire (EHQ) was developed and validated against a 4-day weighed food record (4dwFR) in 108 women, 16-45 years, living in Auckland. The S-EAT is a focused tool within the EHQ used to assess usual snacking habits. Validity was assessed using cross-classification analysis.
Results: Agreement between the S-EAT and 4dwFR for typical snack foods on weekdays and weekends ranged from 70.4% to 92.6% in the morning, although for tea and coffee on weekdays agreement was only 52.8%. In the afternoon agreement on both weekdays and weekends ranged from 61.1% to 86.1%, and in the evening from 70.3% to 87.0%. Typical foods consumed in the morning included fresh fruit, tea and coffee, muesli bars and café drinks; in the afternoon fresh fruit, cheese, yoghurt and crackers; and after dinner tea, coffee, baking and chocolate. “Dairy + grain” was the only commonly consumed food combination (mainly cheese and crackers), with agreement between the EHQ and 4dwFR ranging from 83.3% to 99.0%.
Conclusions: The focused S-EAT is a simple tool that can be used to successfully describe and evaluate the snacking habits of New Zealand women.
Funding source: Nutricia Research Foundation