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Nutrition Informatics Blog

Insight into Nutrition Apps - Review by Academy Spokespeople

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One of the challenges of what seems to be an infinite access to information—is distilling out what information is helpful.  Some consider us to be in the next step after information overload—“filter fatigue.”  It is helpful to have someone else narrow down the content so we have less to review.  I liken it to shopping at a small shopping center verses going to an enormous shopping mall.  Sometimes there are so many choices; it is difficult to make decisions.

With the widespread proliferation of health applications or “apps” it is often a challenge to know where to begin.   The Academy’s spokespeople have taken on the challenge of rating nutrition apps—much like the book reviews on nutrition.  As with any mammoth project, it is helpful to break the task into manageable pieces.  As the complexities to consider build -not only content, but what operating system does it require and can are there versions for different mobile platforms (Droid, iPhone, to name a few.)

As Americans move towards adoption and use of health information technology which allows “data to follow the patient” and which will eventually allow patients/consumers to share health data electronically with their physician, use of these health apps will likely become more important.  For now, they allow consumer access to a taste of health information-- and as you will see from the apps evaluated by the Academy’s spokespeople—often serve as a great backdrop for dietitians as they do their job.   Check out the Consumer and Lifestyle Apps Review which begin with app reviews for Diabetes, Gluten-Free, and Weight Management.   ‘Appy Reading!

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