Imperial College London

Dr Zeinab Mulla

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Teaching Fellow







Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





Publication Type

7 results found

Greenwood DC, Hardie LJ, Frost GS, Alwan NA, Bradbury KE, Carter M, Elliott P, Evans CEL, Ford HE, Hancock N, Key TJ, Liu B, Morris MA, Mulla UZ, Petropoulou K, Potter GDM, Riboli E, Young H, Wark PA, Cade JEet al., 2019, Validation of the Oxford WebQ Online 24-hour dietary questionnaire using biomarkers, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 188, Pages: 1858-1867, ISSN: 1476-6256

Oxford WebQ is an online dietary questionnaire covering 24 hours, appropriate for repeated administration in large-scale prospective studies including UK Biobank and the Million Women Study. We compared performance of the Oxford WebQ and a traditional interviewer-administered multi-pass 24-hour recall against biomarkers for protein, potassium and total sugar intake, and total energy expenditure estimated by accelerometry. 160 participants were recruited between 2014 and 2016 in London, UK, and measured at 3 non-consecutive time-points. The measurement error model simultaneously compared all 3 methods. Attenuation factors for protein, potassium, sugars and total energy intake estimated by the mean of 2 Oxford WebQs were 0.37, 0.42, 0.45, and 0.31 respectively, with performance improving incrementally for the mean of more measures. Correlation between the mean of 2 Oxford WebQs and estimated true intakes, reflecting attenuation when intake is categorised or ranked, was 0.47, 0.39, 0.40, and 0.38 respectively, also improving with repeated administration. These were similar to the more administratively burdensome interviewer-based recall. Using objective biomarkers as the standard, Oxford WebQ performs well across key nutrients in comparison with more administratively burdensome interviewer-based 24-hour recalls. Attenuation improves when the average is taken over repeated administration, reducing measurement error bias in assessment of diet-disease associations.

Journal article

Wark P, Frost G, Elliott P, Ford HE, Riboli E, Hardie LJ, Alwan NA, Carter M, Hancock N, Morris M, Mulla UZ, Noorwali EA, Petropoulou K, Murphy D, Potter GDM, Greenwood DC, Cade JEet al., 2018, An online 24-hour recall tool (myfood24) is valid for dietary assessment in population studies: comparison with biomarkers and standard interviews., BMC Medicine, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1741-7015

BackgroundOnline dietary assessment tools can reduce administrative costs and facilitate repeated dietary assessment during follow-up in large-scale studies. However, information on bias due to measurement error of such tools is limited. We developed an online 24-h recall (myfood24) and compared its performance with a traditional interviewer-administered multiple-pass 24-h recall, assessing both against biomarkers.MethodsMetabolically stable adults were recruited and completed the new online dietary recall, an interviewer-based multiple pass recall and a suite of reference measures. Longer-term dietary intake was estimated from up to 3 × 24-h recalls taken 2 weeks apart. Estimated intakes of protein, potassium and sodium were compared with urinary biomarker concentrations. Estimated total sugar intake was compared with a predictive biomarker and estimated energy intake compared with energy expenditure measured by accelerometry and calorimetry. Nutrient intakes were also compared to those derived from an interviewer-administered multiple-pass 24-h recall.ResultsBiomarker samples were received from 212 participants on at least one occasion. Both self-reported dietary assessment tools led to attenuation compared to biomarkers. The online tools resulted in attenuation factors of around 0.2–0.3 and partial correlation coefficients, reflecting ranking intakes, of approximately 0.3–0.4. This was broadly similar to the more administratively burdensome interviewer-based tool. Other nutrient estimates derived from myfood24 were around 10–20% lower than those from the interviewer-based tool, with wide limits of agreement. Intraclass correlation coefficients were approximately 0.4–0.5, indicating consistent moderate agreement.ConclusionsOur findings show that, whilst results from both measures of self-reported diet are attenuated compared to biomarker measures, the myfood24 online 24-h recall is comparable to the more time-consuming a

Journal article

Albar SA, Alwan NA, Evans CEL, Greenwood DC, Cade JE, Brown HC, Carter MC, Hancock N, Hardie LJ, Morris MA, White KL, Ford HE, Frost GS, Mulla UZ, Petropoulou KA, Wark PAet al., 2016, Agreement between an online dietary assessment tool (myfood24) and an interviewer-administered 24-h dietary recall in British adolescents aged 11-18 years, British Journal of Nutrition, Vol: 115, Pages: 1678-1686, ISSN: 0007-1145

myfood24 Is an online 24-h dietary assessment tool developed for use among British adolescents and adults. Limited information is available regarding the validity of using new technology in assessing nutritional intake among adolescents. Thus, a relative validation of myfood24 against a face-to-face interviewer-administered 24-h multiple-pass recall (MPR) was conducted among seventy-five British adolescents aged 11–18 years. Participants were asked to complete myfood24 and an interviewer-administered MPR on the same day for 2 non-consecutive days at school. Total energy intake (EI) and nutrients recorded by the two methods were compared using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), Bland–Altman plots (using between and within-individual information) and weighted κ to assess the agreement. Energy, macronutrients and other reported nutrients from myfood24 demonstrated strong agreement with the interview MPR data, and ICC ranged from 0·46 for Na to 0·88 for EI. There was no significant bias between the two methods for EI, macronutrients and most reported nutrients. The mean difference between myfood24 and the interviewer-administered MPR for EI was −230 kJ (−55 kcal) (95 % CI −490, 30 kJ (−117, 7 kcal); P=0·4) with limits of agreement ranging between 39 % (3336 kJ (−797 kcal)) lower and 34 % (2874 kJ (687 kcal)) higher than the interviewer-administered MPR. There was good agreement in terms of classifying adolescents into tertiles of EI (κ w =0·64). The agreement between day 1 and day 2 was as good for myfood24 as for the interviewer-administered MPR, reflecting the reliability of myfood24. myfood24 Has the potential to collect dietary data of comparable quality with that of an interviewer-administered MPR.

Journal article

Carter MC, Albar SA, Morris MA, Mulla UZ, Hancock N, Evans CE, Alwan NA, Greenwood DC, Hardie LJ, Frost GS, Wark PA, Cade JEet al., 2015, Development of a UK Online 24-h Dietary Assessment Tool: myfood24., Nutrients, Vol: 7, Pages: 4016-4032, ISSN: 2072-6643

Assessment of diet in large epidemiological studies can be costly and time consuming. An automated dietary assessment system could potentially reduce researcher burden by automatically coding food records. myfood24 (Measure Your Food on One Day) an online 24-h dietary assessment tool (with the flexibility to be used for multiple 24 h-dietary recalls or as a food diary), has been developed for use in the UK population. Development of myfood24 was a multi-stage process. Focus groups conducted with three age groups, adolescents (11-18 years) (n = 28), adults (19-64 years) (n = 24) and older adults (≥65 years) (n = 5) informed the development of the tool, and usability testing was conducted with beta (adolescents n = 14, adults n = 8, older adults n = 1) and live (adolescents n = 70, adults n = 20, older adults n = 4) versions. Median system usability scale (SUS) scores (measured on a scale of 0-100) in adolescents and adults were marginal for the beta version (adolescents median SUS = 66, interquartile range (IQR) = 20; adults median SUS = 68, IQR = 40) and good for the live version (adolescents median SUS = 73, IQR = 22; adults median SUS = 80, IQR = 25). Myfood24 is the first online 24-h dietary recall tool for use with different age groups in the UK. Usability testing indicates that myfood24 is suitable for use in UK adolescents and adults.

Journal article

Mulla UZ, Cooper R, Mishra GD, Kuh D, Stephen AMet al., 2013, Adult macronutrient intake and physical capability in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, AGE AND AGEING, Vol: 42, Pages: 81-87, ISSN: 0002-0729

Journal article

McCarthy M, Aitsi-Selmi A, Banati D, Frewer L, Hirani V, Lobstein T, McKenna B, Mulla Z, Rabozzi G, Sfetcu R, Newton Ret al., 2011, Research for food and health in Europe: themes, needs and proposals, Health Research Policy and Systems, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 1478-4505

BackgroundDiet, in addition to tobacco, alcohol and physical exercise, is a major factor contributing to chronic diseases in Europe. There is a pressing need for multidisciplinary research to promote healthier food choices and better diets. Food and Health Research in Europe (FAHRE) is a collaborative project commissioned by the European Union. Among its tasks is the description of national research systems for food and health and, in work reported here, the identification of strengths and gaps in the European research base.MethodsA typology of nine research themes was developed, spanning food, society, health and research structures. Experts were selected through the FAHRE partners, with balance for individual characteristics, and reported using a standardised template.ResultsCountries usually commission research on food, and on health, separately: few countries have combined research strategies or programmes. Food and health are also strongly independent fields within the European Commission's research programmes. Research programmes have supported food and bio-technology, food safety, epidemiological research, and nutritional surveillance; but there has been less research into personal behaviour and very little on environmental influences on food choices - in the retail and marketing industries, policy, and regulation. The research is mainly sited within universities and research institutes: there is relatively little published research contribution from industry.DiscussionNational food policies, based on epidemiological evidence and endorsed by the World Health Organisation, recommend major changes in food intake to meet the challenge of chronic diseases. Biomedical and biotechnology research, in areas such as 'nutrio-genomics', 'individualised' diets, 'functional' foods and 'nutri-pharmaceuticals' appear likely to yield less health benefit, and less return on public investment, than research on population-level interventions to influence dietary patterns: for e

Journal article

Berry SE, Mulla UZ, Chowienczyk PJ, Sanders TABet al., 2010, Increased potassium intake from fruit and vegetables or supplements does not lower blood pressure or improve vascular function in UK men and women with early hypertension: a randomised controlled trial., Br J Nutr, Vol: 104, Pages: 1839-1847

K-rich fruit and vegetables may lower blood pressure (BP) and improve vascular function. A randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN50011192) with a cross-over design was conducted in free-living participants with early stages of hypertension (diastolic BP>80 and < 100 mmHg, not receiving BP-lowering medication) to test this hypothesis. Following a 3-week run-in period on a control diet, each subject completed four dietary 6-week dietary interventions (control+placebo capsules, an additional 20 or 40 mmol K(+)/d from fruit and vegetables or 40 mmol potassium citrate capsules/d) using a Latin square design with a washout period ≥ 5 weeks between the treatment periods. Out of fifty-seven subjects who were randomised, twenty-three male and twenty-five female participants completed the study; compliance to the intervention was corroborated by food intake records and increased urinary K(+) excretion; plasma lipids, vitamin C, folate and homocysteine concentrations, urinary Na excretion, and body weight remained were unchanged. On the control diet, mean ambulatory 24 h systolic/diastolic BP were 132·3 (sd 12·0)/81·9 ((SD) 7·9) mmHg, and changes (Bonferroni's adjusted 95 % CI) compared with the control on the diets providing 20 and 40 mmol K(+)/d as fruit and vegetables were 0·8 (- 3·5, 5·3)/0·8 (- 1·9, 3·5) and 1·7 (- 3·0, 5·3)/1·5 (- 1·5, 4·4), respectively, and were 1·8 (- 2·1, 5·8)/1·4 (- 1·6, 4·4) mmHg on the 40 mmol potassium citrate supplement, and were not statistically significant. Arterial stiffness, endothelial function, and urinary and plasma isoprostane and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations did not differ significantly between the diets. The present study provides no evidence to support dietary advice to increase K intake above usual UK intakes in the subjects with early stages of hypertension.

Journal article

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