Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Jason Gillil


A diet high in fruit and vegetables is associated with the prevention of many chronic diseases; however, only one in ten Canadian students in grades 6 to 12 consume the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Using smartphones to deliver nutrition interventions is an emerging area of research, although to-date these interventions typically limit their focus to weight loss. The overarching purpose of this research is to redevelop and evaluate an existing smartphone application for an adolescent population. This thesis used a mixed-methods approach to gain adolescent perspectives on how to redevelop the app and to evaluate its use as a nutrition intervention. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted to determine what content and functionality adolescents want in a nutrition smartphone app. A pilot intervention was conducted in a London, Ontario high school to evaluate recruitment and retention methods, performance of app features, suitability of study instruments, and overall feasibility. The pilot study provided methodological contributions and verified the feasibility of undertaking a full-scale intervention. Findings from a full-scale intervention with adolescents will determine if the app intervention is able to elicit a change in food literacy, food purchasing, and dietary behaviours.