Development and preliminary validity of an Indonesian mobile application for a balanced and sustainable diet for obesity management

Rina Agustina, Eka Febriyanti, Melyarna Putri, Meriza Martineta, Novi S. Hardiany, Dyah E. Mustikawati, Hanifa Hanifa, Anuraj H. Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Mobile applications such as personalized tracking tools and food choice aids may enhance weight loss programs. We developed and assessed client preferences for the content, user interface, graphics, and logic flow of a mobile application, and evaluated its validity for tracking compliance with weight control and making healthy and sustainable food choices. Methods: Our four-stage study comprised formative research, application development, acceptance assessment, and validity. The formative research included literature reviews and six focus groups with 39 respondents aged 19–64 years at high risk for obesity. The development stage included programmer selection, defining application specifications, design, and user interface. Prototype acceptability was assessed with 53 respondents who graded 17 features of content, graphic design, and application flow (ranked as good, moderate, and poor). A feature was considered to have "good" acceptance if its mean response was higher than the mean of overall responses. The validity was assessed in 30 obese women using Bland–Altman plots to compare results from dietary intake assessment from the application to conventional paper-based methods. Results: The application was named as EatsUp®. The focus group participants defined the key requirements of this app as being informative, easy, and exciting to use. The EatsUp® core features consisted of simple menu recommendations, health news, notifications, a food database, estimated portion sizes, and food pictures. The prototype had a "good" overall acceptance regarding content, graphics, and flow. Fourteen out of 17 parameters were graded as "good" from > 70% of respondents. There was no significant difference between the rated proportions for content, graphics, and app flow (Kolmogorov–Smirnov Z-test, p >.05). The agreement using the Bland–Altman plots between EatsUp® and the paper-based method of measuring food intake was good, with a mean difference of energy intake of only 2.63 ± 28.4 kcal/day (p > 0.05), well within the 95% confidence interval for agreement. Conclusions: The EatsUp® mobile application had good acceptance for graphics and app flow. This application can support the monitoring of balanced and sustainable dietary practice by providing nutritional data, and is comparable with conventional dietary assessment tools, and performed well in tracking energy, macronutrient, and selected micronutrients intakes. Trial registration: NCT03469869. The registration date was March 19, 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1221
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Balanced diet
  • Formative research
  • Jakarta
  • Mobile apps
  • Sustainable diet
  • User acceptance test

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