Self-monitoring dietary intake: Current and future practices

Lora E. Burke, Melanie Warziski, Terry Starrett, Jina Choo, Edvin Music, Susan Sereika, Susan Stark, Mary Ann Sevick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews the literature on the use of paper diaries for self-monitoring food intake, identifies the strengths and limitations of paper-and-pencil diaries and their new counterpart, the electronic diary or personal digital assistant (PDA), and reports how participants were trained to use a PDA with dietary software in two pilot studies - one with hemodialysis patients and the other with participants in a weight loss study. The report of the pilot studies focuses on the practical issues encountered in training participants in the use of a PDA and addresses the pros and cons of different dietary software programs. Six hemodialysis patients were trained in the first study and seven participants attempting to lose or maintain their weight were trained in the second pilot study. The training focused on how to use a PDA and how to navigate the dietary software to self-monitor food intake. The goals of using the PDA were to improve adherence to the therapeutic diets and to self-monitoring. Lessons learned from the pilot studies are shared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support was provided by NIH, NIDDK, RO1-DK58631; support for the hemodialysis pilot study was received from the Obesity and Nutrition Research Center NIH-NIDDK No. DK-046204; the General Clinical Research Center NIH-NCRR-GCRC No. 5M01-RR00056; and the Center for Research in Chronic Disorders, NIH-NINR No. P30-NR03924.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Nephrology


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