Purpose of Review
This review describes the state-of-the-art for dietary assessment using smartphone apps and digital technology and provides an update on the efficacy of technology-mediated interventions for dietary change.
Technology has progressed from apps requiring entry of foods consumed, to digital imaging to provide food intake data. However, these methods rely on patients being active in data collection. The automated estimation of the volume and composition of every meal consumed globally is years away. The use of text messaging, apps, social media, and combinations of these for interventions is growing and proving effective for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Effectiveness of text messaging for obesity management is improving and multicomponent interventions show promise. A stand-alone app is less likely to produce positive outcomes and social media is relatively unexplored.
A concentrated effort will be needed to progress digital dietary assessment. Researcher-designed technology programs are producing positive outcomes for T2DM but further research is needed in the area of weight management.