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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 6 (2004) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4689

Title: DietPal: A Web-Based Dietary Menu-Generating and Management System
Authors: Noah, Shahrul A
Abdullah, Siti Norulhuda
Shahar, Suzana
Abdul-Hamid, Helmi
Khairudin, Nurkahirizan
Yusoff, Mohamed
Ghazali, Rafidah
Mohd-Yusoff, Nooraini
Shafii, Nik Shanita
Abdul-Manaf, Zaharah
Keywords: Original Paper
Dietary services
menu planning
information systems
health information system
Web-based services
Issue Date: 30-Jan-2004
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Shahrul A Noah, Siti Norulhuda Abdullah, Suzana Shahar, Helmi Abdul-Hamid, Nurkahirizan Khairudin, Mohamed Yusoff, Rafidah Ghazali, Nooraini Mohd-Yusoff, Nik Shanita Shafii, Zaharah Abdul-Manaf. DietPal: A Web-Based Dietary Menu-Generating and Management System. J Med Internet Res 2004;6(1):e4 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2004/1/e4/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2004/1/e4/ ] Background: Attempts in current health care practice to make health care more accessible, effective, and efficient through the use of information technology could include implementation of computer-based dietary menu generation. While several of such systems already exist, their focus is mainly to assist healthy individuals calculate their calorie intake and to help monitor the selection of menus based upon a prespecified calorie value. Although these prove to be helpful in some ways, they are not suitable for monitoring, planning, and managing patients' dietary needs and requirements. This paper presents a Web-based application that simulates the process of menu suggestions according to a standard practice employed by dietitians. Objective: To model the workflow of dietitians and to develop, based on this workflow, a Web-based system for dietary menu generation and management. The system is aimed to be used by dietitians or by medical professionals of health centers in rural areas where there are no designated qualified dietitians. Methods: First, a user-needs study was conducted among dietitians in Malaysia. The first survey of 93 dietitians (with 52 responding) was an assessment of information needed for dietary management and evaluation of compliance towards a dietary regime. The second study consisted of ethnographic observation and semi-structured interviews with 14 dietitians in order to identify the workflow of a menu-suggestion process. We subsequently designed and developed a Web-based dietary menu generation and management system called DietPal. DietPal has the capability of automatically calculating the nutrient and calorie intake of each patient based on the dietary recall as well as generating suitable diet and menu plans according to the calorie and nutrient requirement of the patient, calculated from anthropometric measurements. The system also allows reusing stored or predefined menus for other patients with similar health and nutrient requirements. Results: We modeled the workflow of menu-suggestion activity currently adhered to by dietitians in Malaysia. Based on this workflow, a Web-based system was developed. Initial post evaluation among 10 dietitians indicates that they are comfortable with the organization of the modules and information. Conclusions: The system has the potential of enhancing the quality of services with the provision of standard and healthy menu plans and at the same time increasing outreach, particularly to rural areas. With its potential capability of optimizing the time spent by dietitians to plan suitable menus, more quality time could be spent delivering nutrition education to the patients.
Description: Reviewer: Stumbo, Phyllis
Reviewer: Weiss, Rick
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4689
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.6.1.e4
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 6 (2004)

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