Mobile apps for weight control and healthy diet, are they all useful?

Section: Originals

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Dolado Martín C, Berlanga Fernández S, Massip-Salcedo M. Aplicaciones móviles de control de peso y dieta saludable, ¿todas valen? RIdEC 2018; 11(1):22-9.


1 Cristina Dolado Martín, 2 Sofía Berlanga Fernández, 3 Marta Massip-Salcedo


1 Especialista de Enfermería Familiar y Comunitaria. ACUT Delta. Zona Delta del Llobregat. Barcelona.2 Enfermera. Área Básica Sta. Eulalia Sud. Hospitalet Llobregat. Barcelona.3 PhD. Departamento Ciencias de la Salud/FoodLab. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona.

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Objective: to analyze the mobile applications from the Apps Store for Android, targeted to body weight control and adequate diet in healthy adults or those with excess weight or obesity.
Method: a descriptive cross-sectional study, conducting a search for free apps in Spanish, targeted to healthy adults or those with some chronic condition, included in the “Health and Wellbeing” category of Google Play Store. The iSYScore variables were used: popularity, reliability and utility. Besides, involvement of a healthcare professional in the design and creation of the application was also added.
Results: in total, 76 free apps were analyzed (40% of them offered sales inside); 90% of these achieved a positive score by users but, after analysis, 50% offered low  reliability, 43% offered information only, without any other utility or no utility at all, and healthcare professionals were only involved in five apps.
Conclusions: these mobile applications represent a tool easy to access, and there is a wide offer. However, those most popular are not always the most reliable, useful and with good quality, and no healthcare professional has been involved in their creation. Therefore, it is necessary to increase and/or create awareness about the current regulations, publishing scientific recommendations or providing quality seals to the app that will be known by users; there must also be a promotion of the development of applications based on scientific evidence, ensuring the quality of their contents, that will provide useful tools. With all this, applications would be a beneficial and useful tool, safe, reliable and trustworthy, for weight control and healthy diet.


Nutrition; technology; nursing; diet; quality indicators for healthcare; mobile applications; eHealth; mHealth

Versión en Español


Aplicaciones móviles de control de peso y dieta saludable, ¿todas valen?

Artículo completo no disponible en este idioma / Full article is not available in this language


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