August 24, 2020
A special committee of the American Heart Association recently published recommendations for the routine assessment of diet in clinical encounters (https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HCQ.0000000000000094). The guidelines focus primarily on the incorporation of a rapid diet screening tool for use in routine primary care visits, with subsequent integration of the diet assessment and nutrition counseling notes into a patient’s electronic health record.
According to the committee’s statement, it is critical that diet quality be assessed and discussed at the point of care with clinicians and other members of the healthcare team to reduce the incidence and improve the management of diet-related chronic disease. A reliable, accessible solution is crucial because it will address the problem head on. Diet is the leading predictor of chronic disease risk. Improving what we eat can dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
Diet ID, a digital health start-up company, has developed the very tool the AHA has indicated the world needs. Working over the past five years with world-leading nutrition experts, Diet ID has reinvented diet assessment with a unique pattern-recognition approach to quickly and accurately assess diet. The web-based application displays food images representing dietary patterns, rather than relying on traditional memory-based methods, which are time-consuming, tedious, and typically faulty or incomplete. The user experience is straightforward and simple, often completed in less than a minute, and providers can get results immediately via a comprehensive digital report.
The Diet ID tool provides an instant diet quality score, estimated intakes of a dozen food groups and 150 nutrients, and identifies potential nutrition pitfalls, empowering providers to quickly highlight focus areas for improvement. This information can be used to assess disease risk as well as provide a baseline measure for nutrition intervention strategies. Diet ID also offers diet improvement goals as well as personalized digital coaching challenges to help patients improve their diet and manage their risk of chronic disease without the daily support of a clinician. Diet ID has launched with over forty clients in less than a year on the market, demonstrating widespread need for an engaging, effective diet assessment tool.
“We agree entirely with the American Heart Association that diet needs to be treated as a vital sign, measured and managed universally,” said Dr. David Katz, Preventive Medicine specialist and founder/CEO of Diet ID. “We are delighted to make available the very tool these public health leaders are saying the world needs.”
According to Stanford nutrition researcher and Diet ID Scientific Advisor Christopher Gardner, PhD, “The field of diet assessment has relied on the same few tools for many decades, each with strengths and limitations, but all being time intensive in their efforts to meaningfully capture the complexity of what we eat. DietID is revolutionary in this regard in using pattern recognition to maximize the combination of brevity and meaningful differentiation of diet types and quality – addressing exactly the needs identified by the AHA.”
Validation of the Diet ID method to date demonstrates significant correlation with the gold standard diet assessment tool*. Preliminary results, summarized here (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306987719314392), also indicate a higher acceptance rate among users, as Diet ID is 7 to 10 times faster to complete and perceived as more fun to use. Other ongoing research includes validation against other dietary assessment methods, user accuracy scoring, and, with Diet ID’s add-on coaching platform, disease risk and health behavior change reporting.
*Food Frequency Questionnaire
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