The feasibility and appeal of mobile 'apps' for supporting healthy food purchasing and consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women : A pilot study

Journal article


Ball, Kylie, Mouchacca, Jennifer and Jackson, Michelle. (2014). The feasibility and appeal of mobile 'apps' for supporting healthy food purchasing and consumption among socioeconomically disadvantaged women : A pilot study. Health Promotion Journal of Australia. 25(2), pp. 79-82. https://doi.org/10.1071/HE13096
AuthorsBall, Kylie, Mouchacca, Jennifer and Jackson, Michelle
Abstract

Aim
This pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility and appeal of using existing hand-held mobile technology (iPod or iPad) ‘apps’ as tools promoting healthy food planning, shopping and eating behaviours among socioeconomically disadvantaged women.

Methods
Surveys were administered before and immediately after a 4-week trial of seven currently available iPod or iPad apps, each of which addressed known barriers to healthy eating among socioeconomically disadvantaged women. A convenience sample was recruited from a local community in Melbourne, Australia, comprising 19 women with a low education (fewer than 12 years of formal education) or a low income (a household income of less than $1000 per week, and/or having a pension or benefit as the main source of income).

Results
More than half of the sample (n = 11, 61%) used most apps at least weekly over the study period. Few found any of the apps complex or difficult to use, and most (n = 14) reported that they would use their preferred apps again. Features liked included portability, simplicity, user-friendliness, and novelty/new knowledge provided by certain apps; less appealing features included requirements for time-consuming data entry and inability to access features offline.

Conclusions
Selected iPod and iPad apps are useable and appealing to socioeconomically disadvantaged women. Particular features of apps, including simplicity of use and providing seasonal information, appear helpful in assisting women to plan, shop and consume healthy foods.

So what?
This study demonstrates a promising approach for reaching and engaging socioeconomically disadvantaged target populations in healthy eating, through the use of mobile apps. Further research establishing the effectiveness of these apps in promoting healthy food planning, shopping and eating behaviours is now warranted.

Year2014
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Journal citation25 (2), pp. 79-82
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
ISSN1036-1073
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1071/HE13096
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84907013902
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range79-82
FunderNational Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online04 Sep 2014
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Jun 2014
Deposited19 Aug 2021
Grant IDNHMRC/374241
NHMRC/1042442
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