A group of researchers from the University of Guelph studied the validity of a mobile app to track vitamin D and calcium intake. Findings from the study are published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Adults in Canada have shown to be consistently deficient in dietary vitamin D, which is partially due to low vitamin D synthesis from the sun during the fall and winter at Canadian latitudes. So researchers evaluated use of the Vitamin D Calculator app by enrolling 25 men and 25 women between ages 18-25. Participants were instructed to use the app to record their intake of vitamin D- and calcium-containing foods and beverages, as well as their sunlight exposure for 3 days. When participants orally recalled their intake after the 3-day period, the mean vitamin D and calcium intake as estimated by the app were significantly positively correlated and not significantly different from the recalls; this validated the use of the app to track dietary intake.
Samantha Goodman, MSc, PhD Candidate, concluded that the app can be an important tool for physicians or dietitians to use in clinical counseling. Tracking intake is important in helping inform patients about potential deficiencies though it is not diagnostic of vitamin D status.
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