Online dietary intake assessment using a graphical food frequency app (eNutri): Usability metrics from EatWellUK

Providing personalised nutrition advice through apps on mobile devices could be an effective tool to address serious and persistent public health problems (e.g. obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus). This approach has been tested using an app developed by the University of Reading (UoR), one of the leading partners in the Quisper project funded by EIT Food (ID 18064).

Results from an online study (EatWellUK) involving 324 UK participants evaluated the eNutri app using three well-established questionnaires:

  1. Baecke questionnaire for evaluating physical activity
  2. Food4Me food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)
  3. System usability scale (SUS) questionnaire, a tool used for evaluating evaluate a hardware, software, mobile devices, websites and applications (apps)

Volunteers were assigned to one of two groups, based on age (18 – 59 and 60+ years) and screen size (mobile, tablet, laptop/desktop). Suitability for online studies was determined by completion of all questionnaires without assistance across all age groups and a SUS score greater than 70.

Wider use of online and electronic devices would enable healthcare professionals and providers to monitor and affect changes in intake and lifestyle easily and efficiently. However, for apps like eNutri to benefit consumers and healthcare, they must be user-friendly as well as scientifically validated.

eNutri app is being trialled in the UK and Germany as part of the Quisper project - read more