The Science - An Evidence-Based Approach for Digital Nutrition Coaching


Healthcare has gone digital. The 67.1% global penetration of smartphones and 77% smartphone penetration in the US as of 2019 suggests that consumers will demand more digital-based services, including innovative digital nutrition coaching services. The MealLogger platform supports clients outside of the clinical setting through their mobile device(s), enabling embedded peer support and helping physicians and dietitians form a complete picture of a client’s situation through monitoring diet and integrating it with other data sources including activity and sleep.

Here is some research that can help health and fitness professionals understand how MealLogger can help reach more clients and improve outcomes.

  1. PHOTOGRAPHING MEALS PROMOTES HEALTHY EATING AND REDUCES ENERGY INTAKE. Photojournaling encourages clients to self-monitor and enjoy doing it! People maintaining a photographic food record meet their dietary goals more often by reducing their total calorie intake, total fat intake, and percentage of calories from fat ( H ).
  2. PHOTOS TRUMP TEXT. We photograph meals before eating, yet we log meals into written food diaries after we eat. This uniquely positions photographic food diaries to alter attitudes and behaviors more effectively than written diaries ( G ).
  3. HUMAN INTERACTION IS CRITICAL. How critical? Tech-based weight loss programs that allow clients to connect remotely with a health professional (“e-counseling”) lose more weight inches from their waist than standardized programs that lack a personal interface ( J ). In fact, people who used portable technology and received individualized feedback and support ate 2 more servings of vegetables and 4 more servings of fiber from grains each day than those who didn’t ( I ).
  4. GROUP VERSUS 1-ON-1 COUNSELING FOR WEIGHT LOSS. Which is more effective? Group therapy yields greater weight loss than individual therapy, even among those who express a preference for individual counseling ( K ). (MealLogger offers both formats nonetheless to accommodate personal preference.)
  5. MAKE IT FUN AND ENGAGING. Calorie-counting apps, far from fun, prove ineffective at promoting weight loss ( L ). And while there aren’t any studies showing the efficacy of food-related competitions and challenges yet, there is evidence that making things fun helps people to make healthier choices ( M ).
  6. INCREASE CLIENT RETENTION: Keeping in touch with clients through telephone and computer contact can be very effective ( Fabricatore & Wadden, 2005 ).
  7. CREATE FEEDBACK LOOPS. Providing clients with encouragement when they make the right choices is a powerful motivator and will help with adherence ( N )


Efficacy of MealLogger as a Standalone Nutrition Solution

MealLogger has been deployed as a standalone solutions with various clients including public municipalities, private healthcare providers, and research universities.


Private Nordic Healthcare Provider - Attendo
The Intervention (white paper | blog post) demonstrated that combining traditional and virtual behavior modification can help overcome obstacles that previously prevented the implementation of effective weight loss and behavior modification programs in primary health care settings. Virtual peer support improves group coherence and enables group members to reach their goals. (n=26, adult)

University of Helsinki Study
The Intervention (white paper) Researchers from the University of Helsinki presented their findings of a four-week feasibility study at the Connected Health Symposium. The results showed that virtual peer support groups with overweight, diabetic men and women moderated by a nutrition professional using MealLogger can effectively promote healthy eating

If you want to know more about MealLogger's Professional Accounts for Enterprises, Healthcare or Nutrition Professionals, please don't hesitate to Contact Us.