Digital Dietitian can help people make better choices

The program guides users through interactive activities designed to teach them about nutritional concepts such as serving size and calorie density.

Immersive virtual reality show

A panel of seven experts, including registered dietitian nutritionists and educators, evaluated the IVAN program across 14 different areas, including navigation, nutrition education content, and degree relevance of educational content.

“The program scores well across all 14 areas,” said Travis Masterson, assistant professor of nutritional science and director of the Health, Behavioral Change and Technology lab at Penn State. Overall it has been received positively and experts feel it will be useful for users. “

The domains where the program scores best are:

  • faithful view, which means it seems to reflect a real environment;
  • the relevance of the educational content, i.e. the educational material is useful; and
  • close synergy between action and performance, which means interactions with food feel real.

The analysis was recently published in Journal of Nutrition and Behavioral Education.

The ability to make good nutritional choices is an important skill to have, the researchers say, but high-quality scientific information is hard to come by in the mass media.

“Registered nutritionists are trained to help individuals improve their diets and are able to meet and work with people to improve their daily routines in very personal and personal,” said Masterson. “But they often spend a large portion of their visits teaching basic nutrition concepts, which is not always an effective use of their time or skills.”

Masterson said that in the future,

The program can save the clinic both time and money

while also freeing up the time of their registered nutritionists to spend more time providing personalized feedback and setting targeted goals. In addition, it gives users a fun and engaging experience that can enhance their knowledge.

“The program gives users a hands-on experience that has the potential to improve their skills more than just watching a slide show or reading a brochure,” says Masterson. “In addition to clinical settings, we also hope to be able to widely distribute the IVAN program in the future for use in schools or even at home.”

Source: Eurekalert

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