Dietary Behavior Assessments in Children—A Mixed-Method Research Exploring the Perspective of Pediatric Dieticians on Innovative Technologies

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Abstract

Background: Assessing dietary intake and eating behavior in children is challenging, owing to children's undeveloped food knowledge and perception of portion sizes. Additionally, caregivers cannot always provide complete surrogate information. Consequently, validated dietary behavior assessment methods for children are limited, but technological innovations offer opportunities for the development of new tools. One of the first steps in the developmental process of a newly developed pediatric dietary assessment tool includes an alignment of the needs and preferences of pediatric dieticians (PDs) as potential users. Objectives: To explore opinions of Dutch PDs about traditional dietary behavior assessment methods for children and potential technological innovations to replace or support traditional methods. Methods: Ten PDs participated in semistructured interviews (total of 7.5 h) based on 2 theoretical frameworks, and data saturation was reached after the seventh interview. Interview transcripts were inductively coded in an iterative process, and overarching themes and domains were identified. Interview data were then used as input for an extensive online survey completed by 31 PDs who were not involved in the initial interview rounds. Results: PDs discussed their perspective on dietary behavior assessments in 4 domains: traditional methods, technological methods, future methods, and external influences on these methods. Generally, PDs felt that traditional methods supported them in reaching their desired goals. However, the time needed to obtain a comprehensive overview of dietary intake behavior and the reliability of conventional methods were mentioned as limitations. For future technologies, PDs mention the ease of use and engaging in children as opportunities. Conclusions: PDs have a positive attitude toward the use of technology for dietary behavior assessments. Further development of assessment technologies should be tailored to the needs of children in different care situations and age categories to increase its usability among children, their caregivers, and dietician. Curr Dev Nutr 2023;xx:xx.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100091
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Developments in Nutrition
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • children
  • dietary behavior assessment
  • pediatric dietetics
  • qualitative and quantitative research
  • technology

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