Karvetti RL, Knuts LR. Validity of the 24-hour dietary recall. J Am Diet Assoc 1985 Nov;85(11):1437-42.


The validity of the 24-hour recall was studied with a comparison of recalled and observed food and nutrient intake for 140 subjects, 84 males (60%) and 56 females (40%), 15 to 57 years old. The observation was carried out during 1 day by recording the amounts of foods selected by the subjects at four meals. The following day, 24-hour recalls were obtained. The results showed that some food items eaten were omitted in the recall, the extremes being 4% of times eaten for fish and 50% for cooked vegetables. In addition, some food items not actually eaten were added in the recall, the additions ranging from 2% of times recalled for bread to 29% for sugar. The difference between mean recalled and observed nutrient intake was between -6% and 11%, except for sucrose (-20%) and vitamin C (-16%). The product-moment correlation coefficient between observed and recalled nutrient intake was in the range of 0.58 to 0.74. Women achieved somewhat more accurate results than men, and the recall results in the 35 to 44 age group were the most valid. It was concluded that validity is unsatisfactory on the individual level and satisfactory on the group level.

Full Text

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At A Glance

Individual Dietary Behavior Variables

Total Energy/Energy Density
Food Groups
Macronutrients, including Saturated Fat
Sweetened Beverages
100% Juice
Low-fat Dairy


Individual Dietary Behavior

Measure Type

24-hour dietary recall

Measure Availability

Not reported

Number of Items

Not applicable

Study location

Turku, Finland



Information about Development of Measure

Nothing to add

Study Design

Study Participants


12 - 18 Years






Not reported

Predominantly Low-income/Low-SES


Sample Size


Study Design

Design Type


Health Outcomes Assessed

Dietary intake/behavior

Obesity Measures

Not applicable

BMI Measured or Self-reported

Not applicable


Not reported

Data Reported on Race/Ethnicity

Not applicable

Data Reported on SES

Quantitative data on study sample

SES-related Variables



How To Use


Who Administered


How Administered


Time Required

Not reported

Training Required

Not reported

Instructions on Use

Not reported

Data Analysis

Data Collection/Analysis Costs

Not available

Data Collection/Protocol

The dietitian interviewing for dietary recall relied on a set of 80 food models and household measures to help subjects in estimating portion sizes.

Instructions on Data Analysis

Not reported

Validity (1)

Type of validity Construct/subscale assessed Criterion measure used Test/statistic used Result
Criterion Validity of 24-hour recalled food and nutrient intake was assessed for the whole sample as well as separately for each gender and three age groups. Observed actual food and nutrient intake at 4 meals during 1 day. Percent of consumed items not recalled, percent of recalled items not eaten, and product-moment correlation coefficient between observed and recalled nutrient intake. Overall, validity deemed unsatisfactory on individual level and satisfactory on group level. Difference between mean recalled and observed intake ranged -6% to 11%. Product-moment correlation coefficient ranged from 0.58 to 0.74.

Reliability (0)

There are no reliability tests reported for this measure.