Tool Library Tool Information
Validation Information: MyFitnessPal
The relative validity of a food record using the smartphone application MyFitnessPal
Aim: The present study aimed to validate food records on the application MyFitnessPal (MFP), comparing them with paper-based food records (P-FR).
Methods: Thirty university students, including males and females, volunteered and recorded dietary intakes on P-FR and MFP food records (MFP-FR). The values of energy, macronutrients and fibre from MFP-FR were compared with data from P-FR, calculated using Brazilian food composition tables. Adjustments for in-person variability and energy intake were performed, and comparisons were made between each data set, using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Spearman's correlation and Bland-Altman agreement plots.
Results: Positive moderate correlations between P-FR and MFP-FR for all variables, and non-significant associations for energy and fibre were found. The Bland-Altman plots showed tendency to underestimation and relatively narrow limits of agreement. Carbohydrate and lipids show trends of increasing the degree of overestimation with increased intake, even after data normalisation.
Conclusions: MFP tends to underestimate ingestion of nutrients probably due to inadequacies in the MFP database. However, MFP showed good relative validity, especially for energy and fibre. Its use, as well as other similar applications, should be encouraged, due to ease of assessing dietary information, although careful usage is recommended because of database gaps.
Total number of nutrients validated: 4
Not all of the nutrients validated in the validation studies are included in the table below, as statistical data was only selected to be displayed for a number of nutrients, this included:
- Saturated Fat
- Mono-unsaturated Fat
- Poly-unsaturated Fat
- Non‐starch polysaccharides(NSP)
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Fruit & Vegetables
- Urinary Nitrogen
To find information on the other validated nutrients please read the validation study.
- Macronutrients: 4
- Micronutrients: 0
|Comparator||Lifestage||Sex||Nutrient Measured||Mean Difference||Standard Deviation||Correlation Coefficient||Cohen's Kappa Coefficient||Percentage Agreement||Percentage Agreement Categories||Lower Limits of Agreement||Upper Limits of Agreement|
|Paper Food Record||Adults||Both||Energy (kJ)||-56||1388||0.67 (S)||-2832||2720|
|Protein (g)||-10||20||0.53 (S)||-50||30|
|Fat (g)||-10||11||0.59 (S)||-32||12|
|Carbohydrates (g)||-25||56||0.58 (S)||-137||87|
|Fiber (g)||0.3||10||0.58 (S)||-19.7||20.3|
Some results have been calculated using statistical techniques based on the published data.
For further information on statistical terms click on Statistical tests used in validation studies
All correlations coefficients in the table are unadjusted unless stated otherwise. For adjusted correlation coefficients and other statistical methods used in the study e.g. paired t-tests, please read the validation articles.
- # Adjusted
- † Energy adjusted.
- ‡ For loge-transformed, energy-adjusted nutrient intakes.
- ^ Adjacent included.
- ᵟ Participants provided identical responses.
- (w) = Weighted.
Teixeira V, Voci SM, Mendes-Netto RS, da Silva DG. The relative validity of a food record using the smartphone application MyFitnessPal. Nutrition & Dietetics. 2018;75(2):219-25.