A Pilot-study of the use of Nutrition-related Apps and Software in Africa during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown measures have risen the malnutrition problem in the world, especially in Africa. The use of nutrition apps/software at individual level therefore appears as suitable solution given the context. This study aimed at assessing the actual usage level of nutrition apps/software and the determining factors. A cross-sectional study consisting of an online-survey conducted from April to May 2020 with as target Africans aged of 18 and above was carried out. A total of 460 respondents from different African countries was registered. Globally they appeared to have started using computer and smartphones since at least 5 years and this mostly at a daily frequency together with internet. A total of 52.2 % of the respondents recognized not to apply or not to know if they apply the principles of a balanced diet in their day-to-day life, but just 18% reported to be using a nutrition apps/software; COVID-19 pandemic having pushed 7% to refer more to these tools and 0.7% to start using one. South Africa nationals, people living in a household of 3-5 people and those having a monthly income above 500 USD tended to use them more. Almost half of the users report that these tools do not take into consideration foods available in their context. On the other hand, almost half of the non-users (41.5% of respondents) said they would prefer to be advised by a dietician. However up to 50.9% clearly stated they are interested in learning more about these tools, which is of quite of big interest in preventing Non-communicable diseases resurgence in relation to COVID-19 pandemic.
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