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Evaluation of mobile applications related to nutrition

  • Vitória Negri Braz (a1) and Maria Helena Baena de Moraes Lopes (a2)

Abstract

Objective

To verify the reliability of information, the sources of information used and the user opinions of the free mobile applications (apps) with nutritional information available in Brazil.

Design

Descriptive, cross-sectional study.

Setting

We evaluated the content about nutrition of free apps available on the App Store of iPhone 5S with software iOS 8.4.1 and on the Play Store of the Android platform, version 2.3.6. For this, we compared the nutrition information provided by the app with (i) the Brazilian Food Composition Table (TACO), of 2011; (ii) food composition table: support for nutritional decision, of 2002; and (iii) the National Study of Family Expenditure: food composition tables, of 1999. The evaluation included the description and quantity of macro- and micronutrients in foods. In addition, we evaluated the trustworthiness of information about food energy values and analysed the comments and ratings made by users.

Subjects

Mobile apps related to nutrition.

Results

We assessed sixteen apps for mobile devices. Considering the foods selected (a basic Brazilian food basket for the month of August 2015), the apps presented partially adequate or inadequate information about food composition (macro- and micronutrients). The adequacy of the food energy values ranged from 0 to 57·1 %. Despite this, the apps received positive ratings by users.

Conclusions

The mobile apps about nutrition currently available and evaluated in the present study in Brazil are not useful for nutritional guidance because most of them are not based on reliable sources of information.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Email mhbaena@g.unicamp.br

References

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Evaluation of mobile applications related to nutrition

  • Vitória Negri Braz (a1) and Maria Helena Baena de Moraes Lopes (a2)

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