Digital Photographic Food Diaries for Weight Loss: A Pilot Study

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2009

Project Description/Abstract

As the number of overweight and obese Americans increases, the tolls on morbidity, mortality and health care costs are concurrently increasing. Although two thirds of Americans are obese or overweight, the majority believe that they have healthy eating habits. Research has shown that self-monitoring of food intake is one of the most effective weight management interventions. However, the typical food diaries used to self-monitor have limitations, the primary limitation being the accuracy of the reporting by the individual. The proposed research seeks to determine if digital photography can increase the effectiveness of self-monitoring. Participants will be randomized to one of two conditions: (1) weekly support/education sessions plus written food diaries or; (2) weekly support/education sessions plus photographic food diaries. It is hypothesized that individuals randomized to the photographic diaries group will develop more accurate perceptions of eating habits and greater weight loss.

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