Technology Interventions to Manage Food Intake: Where Are We Now?
Purpose of Review
This review describes the state-of-the-art for dietary assessment using smartphone apps and digital technology and provides an update on the efficacy of technology-mediated interventions for dietary change.
Technology has progressed from apps requiring entry of foods consumed, to digital imaging to provide food intake data. However, these methods rely on patients being active in data collection. The automated estimation of the volume and composition of every meal consumed globally is years away. The use of text messaging, apps, social media, and combinations of these for interventions is growing and proving effective for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Effectiveness of text messaging for obesity management is improving and multicomponent interventions show promise. A stand-alone app is less likely to produce positive outcomes and social media is relatively unexplored.
A concentrated effort will be needed to progress digital dietary assessment. Researcher-designed technology programs are producing positive outcomes for T2DM but further research is needed in the area of weight management.
KeywordsDietary assessment Digital food images Diet apps Text messages Social media mHealth
Margaret Allman-Farinelli reports grants from Australian Research Council, Cancer Council NSW, Australian Meat and Livestock, NSW Health, and HCF Medical Foundation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Margaret Allman-Farinelli reports personal fees from NMHRC, and non-financial support from Qantas. Luke Gemming declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors. The articles included in this review that were conducted by the authors ensured all procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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