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Special Issue "Advancement in Dietary Assessment and Self-Monitoring Using Technology"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tracy Burrows

School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: dietary assessment; biomarkers; obesity; addictive eating
Guest Editor
Dr. Megan Rollo

Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, ATC 309H, ATC Building, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: dietary assessment methods; ehealth; mhealth; behavioural nutrition interventions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although methods to assess or self-monitor intake may be considered similar, the intended function of each is quite distinct. For the assessment of dietary intake, methods aim to measure food and nutrient intake and/or to derive dietary patterns for determining diet-disease relationships, population surveillance or the effectiveness of interventions. In comparison, dietary self-monitoring primarily aims to create awareness of and reinforce individual eating behaviours, in addition to tracking foods consumed.  Advancements in the capabilities of technologies, such as smartphones and wearable devices, have enhanced the collection, analysis and interpretation of dietary intake data in both contexts. This Special Issue invites submissions on the use of novel technology-based approaches for the assessment of food and/or nutrient intake and for self-monitoring eating behaviours. Submissions may document any part of the development and evaluation of the technology-based approaches. 

Examples may include:

  • web adaption of existing dietary assessment or self-monitoring tools (e.g., food frequency questionnaires, screeners)
  • image-based or image-assisted methods
  • mobile/smartphone applications for capturing intake for assessment or self-monitoring
  • wearable cameras to record dietary intake or eating behaviours
  • body sensors to measure eating behaviours and/or dietary intake
  • use of technology-based methods to complement aspects of traditional dietary assessment or self-monitoring, such as portion size estimation.

Assoc. Prof.Tracy Burrows
Dr. Megan Rollo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Dietary assessment
  • Dietary self-monitoring
  • ehealth
  • mhealth

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Technology-Based Dietary Assessment in Youth with and Without Developmental Disabilities
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101482
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
Obesity prevalence is higher in children with developmental disabilities as compared to their typically developing peers. Research on dietary intake assessment methods in this vulnerable population is lacking. The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and compare the nutrient
[...] Read more.
Obesity prevalence is higher in children with developmental disabilities as compared to their typically developing peers. Research on dietary intake assessment methods in this vulnerable population is lacking. The objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and compare the nutrient intakes of two technology-based dietary assessment methods in children with-and-without developmental disabilities. This cross-sectional feasibility study was an added aim to a larger pilot study. Children (n = 12; 8–18 years) diagnosed with spina bifida, Down syndrome, or without disability were recruited from the larger study sample, stratified by diagnosis. Participants were asked to complete six days of a mobile food record (mFR™), a 24-h dietary recall via FaceTime® (24 HR-FT), and a post-study survey. Analysis included descriptive statistics for survey results and a paired samples t-test for nutrient intakes. All participants successfully completed six days of dietary assessment using both methods and acceptability was high. Energy (kcal) and protein (g) intake was significantly higher for the mFR™ as compared to the 24 HR-FT (p = 0.041; p = 0.014, respectively). Each method had strengths and weaknesses. The two technology-based dietary assessment tools were well accepted and when combined could increase accuracy of self-reported dietary assessment in children with-and-without disability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Qualitative Evaluation of the eaTracker® Mobile App
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101462
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
PDF Full-text (475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: eaTracker® is Dietitians of Canada’s online nutrition/activity self-monitoring tool accessible via website and mobile app. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the eaTracker® mobile app based on user perspectives. Methods: One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult eaTracker
[...] Read more.
Background: eaTracker® is Dietitians of Canada’s online nutrition/activity self-monitoring tool accessible via website and mobile app. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the eaTracker® mobile app based on user perspectives. Methods: One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult eaTracker® mobile app users who had used the app for ≥ 1 week within the past 90 days. Participants (n = 26; 89% female, 73% 18–50 years) were recruited via email. Interview transcripts were coded using first level coding and pattern coding, where first level codes were grouped according to common themes. Results: Participants mentioned several positive aspects of the mobile app which included: (a) Dashboard displays; (b) backed by dietitians; (c) convenience and ease of use; (d) portion size entry; (e) inclusion of food and physical activity recording; and (f) ability to access more comprehensive information via the eaTracker® website. Challenges with the mobile app included: (a) Search feature; (b) limited food database; (c) differences in mobile app versus website; and (d) inability to customize dashboard displayed information. Suggestions were provided to enhance the app. Conclusion: This evaluation provides useful information to improve the eaTracker® mobile app and also for those looking to develop apps to facilitate positive nutrition/physical activity behavior change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Interviewer-Administered and Web-Based Food Frequency Questionnaires to Predict Energy Requirements in Adults
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091292
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Traditional food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) are influenced by systematic error, but web-based FFQ (WEB-FFQs) may mitigate this source of error. The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy of interview-based and web-based FFQs to assess energy requirements (mERs). The mER was
[...] Read more.
Traditional food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) are influenced by systematic error, but web-based FFQ (WEB-FFQs) may mitigate this source of error. The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy of interview-based and web-based FFQs to assess energy requirements (mERs). The mER was measured in a series of controlled feeding trials in which participants daily received all foods and caloric drinks to maintain stable body weight over 4 to 6 weeks. FFQs assessing dietary intakes and hence mean energy intake were either interviewer-administered by a registered dietitian (IA-FFQ, n = 127; control method) or self-administered using a web-based platform (WEB-FFQ, n = 200; test method), on a single occasion. Comparison between self-reported energy intake and mER revealed significant under-reporting with the IA-FFQ (−9.5%; 95% CI, −12.7 to −6.1) and with the WEB-FFQ (−11.0%; 95% CI, −15.4 to −6.4), but to a similar extent between FFQs (p = 0.62). However, a greater proportion of individuals were considered as accurate reporters of energy intake using the IA-FFQ compared with the WEB-FFQ (67.7% vs. 48.0%, respectively), while the prevalence of over-reporting was lower with the IA-FFQ than with the WEB-FFQ (6.3% vs. 17.5%, respectively). These results suggest less accurate prediction of true energy intake by a self-administered WEB-FFQ than with an IA-FFQ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Nutrient Estimates Based on Food Volume versus Weight: Implications for Dietary Assessment Methods
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080973
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Novel technology-based dietary assessment methods use volume estimates of foods to assess dietary intake. However, the nutrient content of standard databases is based on food weight. The goal of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of the United States Department of Agriculture
[...] Read more.
Novel technology-based dietary assessment methods use volume estimates of foods to assess dietary intake. However, the nutrient content of standard databases is based on food weight. The goal of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA-SR) estimates of volume and the corresponding macronutrient content of the foods. The weights of 35 individual food volumes were measured (on trial) and compared to the USDA-SR-determined weight for the food volume. Macronutrient content corresponding to the trial weight and the USDA-SR weight for the food volume (USDA) were determined using the USDA-SR, and the differences were calculated. There were statistically significant differences between the USDA and trial weights for 80% of foods measured. Calorie estimates by USDA weight were significantly lower than that of trial weight for 54% of foods but were significantly greater for 26% of foods. Differences in macronutrient estimates by trial and USDA weight varied by food type. These findings suggest that nutrient databases based on food weight may not provide accurate estimates of dietary intake when assessed using food volumes. Further development of image-assisted dietary assessment methods which measure food volumes will necessitate evaluation of the accuracy of the processes used to convert weight to volume in nutrient databases. Full article
Open AccessArticle Accuracy of Automatic Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat and Calorie Counting Based on Voice Descriptions of Meals in People with Type 1 Diabetes
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040518
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 21 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this work was to assess the accuracy of automatic macronutrient and calorie counting based on voice descriptions of meals provided by people with unstable type 1 diabetes using the developed expert system (VoiceDiab) in comparison with reference counting made by
[...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to assess the accuracy of automatic macronutrient and calorie counting based on voice descriptions of meals provided by people with unstable type 1 diabetes using the developed expert system (VoiceDiab) in comparison with reference counting made by a dietitian, and to evaluate the impact of insulin doses recommended by a physician on glycemic control in the study’s participants. We also compared insulin doses calculated using the algorithm implemented in the VoiceDiab system. Meal descriptions were provided by 30 hospitalized patients (mean hemoglobin A1c of 8.4%, i.e., 68 mmol/mol). In 16 subjects, the physician determined insulin boluses based on the data provided by the system, and in 14 subjects, by data provided by the dietitian. On one hand, differences introduced by patients who subjectively described their meals compared to those introduced by the system that used the average characteristics of food products, although statistically significant, were low enough not to have a significant impact on insulin doses automatically calculated by the system. On the other hand, the glycemic control of patients was comparable regardless of whether the physician was using the system-estimated or the reference content of meals to determine insulin doses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pilot Testing a Photo-Based Food Diary in Nine- to Twelve- Year Old- Children from Dunedin, New Zealand
Nutrients 2018, 10(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10020240
Received: 17 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 20 February 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of the study was to investigate if an Evernote app-based electronic food diary is an acceptable method to measure nutrient intake in children aged 9–12 years. A convenience sample of 16 nine- to twelve-year-olds from Dunedin, New Zealand, completed a paper-based
[...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to investigate if an Evernote app-based electronic food diary is an acceptable method to measure nutrient intake in children aged 9–12 years. A convenience sample of 16 nine- to twelve-year-olds from Dunedin, New Zealand, completed a paper-based food dairy on four days, followed by four more days using a photo-based diary on an iPod. This photo-based diary used a combination of photographs and short written descriptions of foods consumed. The photo-based diaries produced similar results to written diaries for all macronutrients and major micronutrients (e.g., calcium, fibre, vitamin C). Spearman correlation coefficients between the two methods for all nutrients, except sugars, were above 0.3. However, burden on researchers and participants was reduced for the photo-based diary, primarily due to the additional information obtained from photographs. Participating children needed less help from parents with completing the electronic diaries and preferred them to the paper version. This electronic diary is likely to be suitable, after additional formal validity testing, for use in measuring nutrient intake in children. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Narrative Review of New Methods for Assessing Food and Energy Intake
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10081064
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Dietary self-report instruments are essential to nutritional analysis in dietetics practice and their use in research settings has facilitated numerous important discoveries related to nutrition, health and chronic diseases. An important example is obesity, for which measuring changes in energy intake is critical
[...] Read more.
Dietary self-report instruments are essential to nutritional analysis in dietetics practice and their use in research settings has facilitated numerous important discoveries related to nutrition, health and chronic diseases. An important example is obesity, for which measuring changes in energy intake is critical for assessing efficacy of dietary interventions. However, current methods, including counting calories, estimating portion size and using food labels to estimate human energy intake have considerable constraints; consequently, research on new methodologies/technologies has been encouraged to mitigate the present weaknesses. The use of technologies has prompted innovation in dietary analysis. In this review, the strengths and limitations of new approaches have been analyzed based on ease of use, practical limitations, and statistical evaluation of reliability and validity. Their utility is discussed through the lens of the 4Ms of Obesity Assessment and Management, which has been used to evaluate root causes of obesity and help select treatment options. Full article
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