Apps and Social Media Applied to Nutrition Education| Volume 54, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S7, July 2022

O13 Photo-Based Food Journaling and Self-Reflection on SMART Eating in Adults

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      Photo-based food journaling as means to improve SMART (Small, Measurable and Achievable dietary changes by Reducing fat, sugar and salt consumption and Trying different fruits and vegetables) eating is still elusive in Sri Lanka.


      To explore the effectiveness of photo-based food journaling on meal tracking experience, self-reflection, and self-assessment of SMART eating of adults using a meal tracking app developed in the Sri Lankan context named ‘SnaT’ (Snap & Track).

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      A sequential explanatory mixed-method was used. Data were collected via a telephone survey focusing on the food consumption pattern, perceived benefits, and barriers for photo-based food journaling from a conveniently selected group of adults (n = 25) through snowball sampling technique. SnaT included about 180 commonly consumed Sri Lankan food items with app outputs showcasing under 7-major food groups, with photo capturing to enhance the self-reflection on meals.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      The participants were asked to maintain a three-day photo food diary manually and by meal tracking using the ‘SnaT’. The pre and post-food consumption changes were analyzed using significance testing while evaluating the benefits and barriers to photo-based food journaling and acceptance of SnaT.


      Participants (n = 25; mean age=24±6.08; females=80%; graduates=56%) show a significant increase in healthy food consumption [fruits and vegetables (P = 0.00), legumes (P = 0.001), fish, meat and poultry (P = 0.00), eggs (P = 0.00), and milk (P = 0.001)] and a significant decrease in unhealthy food consumption [salt (P = 0.025), sugar and sweet food (P = 0.00)]. Improved self-awareness on meals was identified as the major benefit of photo-based food journaling while forgetting to capture photos before eating was identified as the main barrier. However, SnaT was widely accepted (21/25; 84%) as an easy and accessible novel tool to replace manual photo-based food journaling in the Sri Lankan context.


      SnaT as a meal tracking application was well received. Though, further evaluation of acceptance of SnaT in different demographic groups by restructuring the app to include features of digital nutrition education to promote healthy eating should be warranted.