HomeMedicinePublic HealthAre smartphone apps for nutrition during pregnancy reliable?

Are smartphone apps for nutrition during pregnancy reliable?

Recent research shows that pregnancy nutrition apps are inconsistent in providing accurate information to pregnant women.

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is crucial for the long-term and short-term health of both mother and child. There are many nutrition-based apps available that provide nutritional information, including apps for nutrition during pregnancy. Pregnancy nutrition apps are designed to promote nutritional health, however, the information in these apps may not be evidence-based and therefore may not be reliable.

In a recent study published in Maternal & Child Nutrition, researchers found variability and inaccuracy of information among different pregnancy nutrition apps in the United Kingdom. The researchers selected and tested twenty-nine nutritional apps that were designed for pregnant women and had 4+ user ratings. They tested the nutritional information in the apps for authenticity against current U.K. recommendations and found a high variability in the quality and reliability of nutritional information provided in the apps. They even found that some apps provided inappropriate information that could be harmful during pregnancy.

The study highlights that not all health apps – in this case, pregnancy nutrition apps – are reliable or based on scientific information.

Written by Sakina Bano Mendha

References:

Bland, C., Dalrymple, K. V., White, S. L., Moore, A., Poston, L., & Flynn, A. C. (2019). Smartphone applications available to pregnant women in the United Kingdom: An assessment of nutritional information. Maternal & Child Nutrition. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12918

Michie, S., Wood, C. E., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Francis, J. J., & Hardeman, W. (2015). Behaviour change techniques: the development and evaluation of a taxonomic method for reporting and describing behaviour change interventions (a suite of five studies involving consensus methods, randomised controlled trials and analysis of qualitative data). Health Technology Assessment, 19(99), 1–188. doi: 10.3310/hta19990

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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