Publication Details

This article was originally published as Probst, YC, Patients with metabolic syndrome: a study using automated dietary assessment in primary care, Rhizome, 1, 2005, 193-201.


An automated dietary assessment website has been developed for patients with metabolic syndrome. Computers have been set up in local GP practices to which the GP may refer their patients. These patients enter their dietary information into the website and receive an individualised dietary prescription put together by a dietitian. This study outlines the profile of patients using the website and their rates of completion of the assessment. Recruited patients were primarily female(66%). Ranging between 22 and 75 years of age patients reported to be overweight(77%), have high cholesterol (53%), elevated blood pressure (54%) and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus (35%). Intermediate levels of computer experience were reported with most patients preferring to use the website at home as opposed to in their GP practice. Of the 84 patients recruited 63 completed the entire assessment, 15 allowed their accounts to expire and the remainder had partially completed the assessment or had reset/void accounts. Results indicated that use of a computer for dietary assessment appears to capture a large proportion of the population who otherwise would not be able or willing to receive face-to-face advice from a dietitian. Such an application is highly useful in the field of nutrition due to the ever increasing rates of overweight and obesity within Australia.