Balancing a proper diet can be difficult for many Americans, especially in a food industry prolifically driven by non-nutritional corn-derivative products. Some people try reading labels to avoid unwanted ingredients, others eat food marketed as natural or organic. But sometimes these methods don’t work when dieting because hidden nutrients in food, good and bad, are difficult to detect alone; however, with interconnectivity offered by smartphones and tablets, advice from a registered nutritionist is only a click away.
My Dietitian is an application-based Web service that pairs smartphone and tablet users with practicing dietitian experts for daily advice tailored to their dieting goals.
The app allows clients to chart and track their daily food consumption and fitness routine, which is analyzed by a nutritionist. Additionally, the application utilizes a smartphone or tablet’s camera to record a diet diary with photos of food that are instantly shared with the client’s nutritionist.
“It’s really an interesting experience to look at what you’ve consumed over 24 hours in picture form,” says Dr. Michael Tingey, co-founder of My Dietitian.
This process gives the user specific feedback, but also provides the dietician with more detail than a description and allows them to offer specific alterations.
“We’ve created the ability for users to have a registered dietitian in their pocket, seven days per week; and through education, we can provide a greater chance of long-term success,” Tingey says. “Our system encourages better eating through easy accountability, and fosters personal, private relationships with the most highly trained professionals in the nutrition field.”
Tingey and his co-founder, developer Ray Lyons, intend for the project to serve as an educational tool for clients to create long-term, gradual dietary changes that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.
“I’m not a believer in fast weight loss; too many people gain the weight back, and personally I believe long-term habits are key,” Tingey says.
The goals vary between clients. Many wish to lose weight, others want to have more energy, and some simply want to sleep better.
Inspiration for My Dietitian stemmed from Tingey seeing his patients struggle with dietary goals, and the poor usage of registered dietitians in the medical field.
“It came out of a frustration that preventative healthcare is not valued,” Tingey says.
The service has four different membership levels with costs ranging from $4.95 per month to $169 per month. Each membership model gives clients access to a video diary of consumed food, a graph to chart exercise levels and the mobile application. As the price increases, users are given daily communication to a dietician, nutritional charts and video conferences.