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Nutrients 2017, 9(1), 62; doi:10.3390/nu9010062

Can Malaysian Young Adults Report Dietary Intake Using a Food Diary Mobile Application? A Pilot Study on Acceptability and Compliance

Nutritional Sciences Programme, School of Healthcare Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Research Center for Software Technology and Management, Faculty of Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 13 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology Based Approaches to Dietary Intake Assessment)
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Mobile applications may improve dietary reporting among young adults due to their high accessibility and embedded camera function. This pilot study aimed to (i) evaluate users’ acceptability and compliance in reporting dietary intake using a newly developed food diary mobile application (food app); and (ii) identify issues and recommendations for improving dietary assessment using this food app via quantitative and qualitative protocols. Twenty-eight university students each used a food app for seven consecutive days and attended one of five focus group interviews. A 42% decrement in reporting compliance was observed throughout the seven-day recording period. An average of 5.9 recording days were reported and 4.8 occasions of meal data were uploaded each day. Based on questionnaires, high levels of agreement were reported in terms of perceived usefulness (69.3%), perceived ease of use (77.1%), attitude (73.6%), perceived enjoyment (62.6%), and smartphone experience (91.1%), but such agreement was not reported for intention to use (38.1%) and social influence (33.4%). Four major themes emerged from the focus group interviews, namely, (i) features; (ii) potential use; (iii) utility issues of the food app; and (iv) suggestions for improvements. While the food app was well-accepted by most of the young adults, the current prototype would benefit from incorporation of a barcode scanning function, customizable reminders, in-app tutorial, an entertainment component, and enhancement in overall appearance. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary assessment; mobile food record; image-based assessment; acceptability; compliance dietary assessment; mobile food record; image-based assessment; acceptability; compliance

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Chen, Y.S.; Wong, J.E.; Ayob, A.F.; Othman, N.E.; Poh, B.K. Can Malaysian Young Adults Report Dietary Intake Using a Food Diary Mobile Application? A Pilot Study on Acceptability and Compliance. Nutrients 2017, 9, 62.

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