The Journal of Japan Mibyou System Association. 21(1):7-20. 2015.

Utility of the dish based iPhone / iPad application with dish photograph to check the diet in Japan


[Background/purpose]: iPhone/iPad applications (apps) might offer a novel way to self-monitor the dietary behavior of the public. However, little is known about the utility of apps. We created the app for monitoring the diet by oneself using a published food and dish database containing the information of the nutrients and food balances etc. The purposes of this study were to show a process of developed the app, to clarify the characteristics of the users, and to clarify the utility of this app. [Methods]: We developed 594's dishes database with photograph and 1,257's dietary supplement database for app. We defined an evaluation criterion and comments based on the Dietary reference Intakes for Japanese, 2010 etc. before to develop app in Nov. 2012. Until Oct. 2013, 4,259 people registered as users. Utility of the app were assessed by a web questionnaire (n=155). [Results]: The app's registered users were 85% of females, and 15% of males. 20's were 37% and 10's were 25%. 38% of males were obese (BMI>25), 18% of females were underweight (BMI<18.5). More than 70% of users accessed this app in less than 10 days. According to the questionnaire, more than 80% of users hoped to access this app continuously, because of promoting their health, being easy to operate. The users hoped to add the functioning of pedometer and weight recording etc. [Conclusion]: This app has the potential to monitor the diet for the public conveniently. Future efforts should focus on improving and consolidating the evidence of the validity.