Development and evaluation of an iPad app for measuring the cost of a nutritious diet Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Monitoring food costs informs governments of the affordability of healthy diets. Many countries have adopted a standardized healthy food basket. The Victorian Healthy Food Basket contains 44 food items necessary to meet the nutritional requirements of four different Australian family types for a fortnight. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the development of a new iPad app as core to the implementation of the Victorian Healthy Food Basket. The app significantly automates the data collection. We evaluate if the new technology enhanced the quality and efficacy of the research. METHODS: Time taken for data collection and entry was recorded. Semi-structured evaluative interviews were conducted with five field workers during the pilot of the iPad app. Field workers were familiar with previous manual data collection methods. Qualitative process evaluation data was summarized against key evaluation questions. RESULTS: Field workers reported that using the iPad for data collection resulted in increased data accuracy, time savings, and efficient data management, and was preferred over manual collection. CONCLUSIONS: Portable digital devices may be considered to improve and extend data collection in the field of food cost monitoring.


  • Palermo, C
  • Perera-Schulz, D
  • Kannan, A
  • Truby, H
  • Shiell, A
  • Emilda, S
  • Quenette, S

publication date

  • 2014