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.
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