Personalized Nutrition Recommendations in Food Services

Personalized Nutrition Recommendations in Food Services

Katerina Giazitzi (School of Health Science and Education, Department of Nutrition-Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, Greece), Vaios T. Karathanos (Harokopion University, Greece) and George Boskou (Department of Nutrition-Dietetics, Harokopio University, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2390-2.ch006
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The nutritional information on food services could be part of a public health policy against the increasing rate of obesity. The aim of this work is to present the state of art for the nutritional information on food services and the mHealth application usage, worldwide. A particular case study is presented that refers to an Electronic Intelligent System of Personalized Dietary Advice (DISYS) for tablets and smartphones. This application provides nutritional analysis of menu items and personalized suggestions according to the nutritional demands of each customer. The application was characterized as an easy-to-use, comprehensive, and useful tool. Volunteers considered that this application contributes to overall health by enabling the modulation of body weight throughout healthier choices, reduction of calorie intake, and self-monitoring. mHealth applications designed to provide nutritional information seem to be useful for customers as they recommend appropriate nutritional options. They are an effective tool for caterers and nutritionists, who can provide value-added services.
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Obesity and nutrition-related diseases are a major public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that over 1.9 billion people aged 18 years are overweight worldwide, and over 650 million are obese. Additionally, in 2016, over 41 million children under the age of 5 years and over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese. Obesity rates have tripled from 1975 to 2018 (WHO, 2018). This global epidemic is not only limited to developed countries but also developing countries. In particular, according to a World Health Organization report, in Africa since 2000, there has been a 50% increase in overweight children under five years of age. It is estimated that by 2030, 51% of the world's population will be obese (Finkelstein et al., 2012).

At the same time, as food consumption outside the home is constantly increased, and the consumption of nutritious, healthy meals is reduced. Many studies has addressed this issue and have shown that eating out is associated with increased energy intake and reduced intake of micronutrients in Europe (Orphanos et al., 2007), in the USA (Bowman & Vinyard, 2004; Kant et al., 2004) and Australia (Burns et al., 2001). Based on the findings of a systematic study, there is a positive correlation between eating habits away from the home environment and the increase in body weight (Bezerra et al., 2012). In addition, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (2007) showed that increased fast-food consumption is linked to healthy eating and adversely affects the body weight of people, leading to the risk of obesity (Schroder et al., 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Nutritionally Balanced: A meal under certain restrictions for calories or specific macronutrients.

Nutritional Analysis: The process of estimating the output of a meal in calories, macronutrients and micronutrients.

Nutritional Information Applications: Applications that provide nutritional information for meals in food services.

Food Service: Restaurants, catering, and other establishments where the food is prepared and served.

Nutritional Certification: Procedures to certify that a restaurant is providing nutritional information and/ or nutritionally balanced meals.

Nutritional Information: Information concerning the calories, the macronutrients and the micronutrients of a meal.

Calorie Posting: Information concerning the calories of a meal within a food service outlet.

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