Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.52(5) > 1136455

J Nutr Health. 2019 Oct;52(5):488-500. Korean.
Published online Oct 30, 2019.
© 2019 The Korean Nutrition Society
Mobile application-based dietary sugar intake reduction intervention study according to the stages of behavior change in female college students
Yunjung Choi and Hyun-Sook Kim
Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 04310, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-710-9469, Email:
Received Sep 02, 2019; Revised Oct 15, 2019; Accepted Oct 18, 2019.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study examined the effects of a mobile app-based program to reduce the dietary sugar intake according to the stages of the behavioral change in dietary sugar reduction in female college students.


The program used in this study can monitor the dietary sugar intake after recording the dietary intake and provide education message for the reduction of dietary sugar intake. In an eight-week pre-post intervention study, 68 female college students were instructed to record all the food they consumed daily and received weekly education information. At pre-post intervention, the subjects were asked to answer the questionnaire about sugar-related nutrition knowledge, sugar-intake behavior, and sugar-intake frequency. For statistical analysis, ANOVA and a paired t-test were used for comparative analysis according Precontemplation (PC), Contemplation ·Preparation (C ·P), and A ·M (Action ·Maintenance) stage.


Significant differences were observed in the frequency of snacking, experience of nutrition education, and preference for sweetness according to the stages of behavior change in dietary sugar reduction. After finishing an intervention, the sugar-related nutrition knowledge score was increased significantly in the stages of Precontemplation (PC) and Contemplation ·Preparation (C ·P). The score of the sugar intake behavior increased significantly in all stages. The intake frequency of chocolate, muffins or cakes, and drinking yogurt decreased significantly in the PC stage and the intake frequency of biscuits, carbonated beverages, and fruit juice decreased significantly in the C ·P stage. Subjects in the PC and C ·P stages had an undesirable propensity in nutrition knowledge, sugar-intake behavior, and sugar-intake frequency compared to the A ·M stage, but this intervention improved significantly their nutrition knowledge, sugar-intake behavior, and sugar-intake frequency.


This program can be an effective educational tool in the stages of PC and C ·P, and is expected to further increase the usability and sustainability of mobile application if supplemented appropriately to a health platform program.

Keywords: dietary sugar; mobile application; nutrition knowledge; dietary behavior; sugar intake frequency


Fig. 1
Application screen (A) Select the kind of meal (B) Record diet after the meal (C) Real-time feedback on the intake of total energy and total sugar.
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Fig. 2
Examples of card news: ‘Description of nutritive components and how to read it’.
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Table 1
General characteristics of subjects according to the stages of dietary sugar reduction behavior
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Table 2
Sugar-related nutrition knowledge scores of subjects according to stage of dietary sugar reduction behavior between pre and post intervention
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Table 3
Sugar intake behavior scores of subjects according to stage of dietary sugar reduction behavior between pre and post intervention
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Table 4
Sugar intake frequency of subjects according to stage of dietary sugar reduction behavior between pre and post intervention
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This work was partly supported by grants from Co. Wehuddling Korea.

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