Effects of Recording Food Intake Using Cell Phone Camera Pictures on Calorie Intake and Food Choice in College Students
Long, JoAnn D.
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Session presented on Friday, July 24, 2015: Purpose: Recording food intake may contribute to weight loss by promoting changes in eating behavior. The current spread of mobile phone embedded cameras offers new opportunities for recording food intake. Furthermore, the act of taking pictures of food consumed may further increase chances of achieving dietary goals by enhancing visual consciousness of food choice and portion size. The present study tested the effects of using cell phone pictures to record food intake on the dietary behavior of college students. The study also examined the participants' perceptions about the use of this technology within the dietary assessment process. Methods: A repeated measure cross-over design was used. Participants (n =76) were randomly assigned to two groups and asked to complete 3 days of food recording using cell phone pictures and then another 3 days based on their memory. In addition, focus groups provided feedback on the acceptability and usability of cell phones for diet recording in this population. Results: Analysis of the food records revealed a decreasing trend in energy intake (p = 0.07) and in consumption of meat (p = 0.008) and vegetable (p = 0.02) servings for picture-based dietary recording. Results from the focus group indicated a positive attitude towards the use of cell-phone camera pictures in recording food and increased awareness of food choice and portion size. Conclusions: Cell phone pictures may be an effective portable tool to help recording diet when aiming at improved dietary intake and weight loss. The combination of cell phone-based dietary recording with healthy eating education and guidelines may lead to greater improvement in dietary choices.