Improve adherence to the Mediterranean diet through an innovative app: a pilot study
Article publication date: 25 April 2022
Issue publication date: 2 January 2023
The Mediterranean diet (MD) is a sustainable and healthy diet. However, compliance to the MD is still poor. Given this, the authors created a Web app to promote the MD. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Web app YourPappa in terms of adherence to the MD.
The authors developed a Web app, YourPappa, with the aim of encouraging virtuous dietary habits through a reward mechanism. After that, a randomized controlled study was conducted. All participants were given written advice on correct nutrition. Moreover, the case group was trained on the use of the app. The MD adherence was evaluated by a validated questionnaire (Medi-Lite).
Cases found an average increase in the Medi-Lite scores of +7.1%, whereas controls showed an increase of +0.7% (p = 0.06; effect size 0.60). For most of the users, the Web app helped them to think about what they were buying and to promote the MD.
Obesity and related diseases are a topical problem. New strategies are needed to counter it. This study showed interesting and encouraging results, which need further research and insight to be validated and supported.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that has evaluated the use of a Web app to stimulate the adoption of the MD through a reward mechanism.
The authors would like to specially thank Dr Francesco Novarese who has given his fundamental contribution to the realization of the Web app and the study.
Devecchi, A., Bo, S., De Carli, L., Breda, E., Ponzo, V. and Pezzana, A. (2023), "Improve adherence to the Mediterranean diet through an innovative app: a pilot study", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 138-147. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-12-2021-0394
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