Exploring the Effect of Health App Use on Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

Abstract [from journal]

People may use multiple health apps at the same time or in close sequence, and the effect of health apps may vary across different socioeconomic groups. However, in the context of healthy eating, studies have focused on the effect of using a single health app. This study aims to test the relationship of using multiple health apps with fruit and vegetable consumption, assessing moderation by education level. Employing longitudinal survey data from South Korean adults, we conducted regression analyses to test the lagged association between use of health apps and intake of fruits and vegetables, and whether education moderates the relationship. The results supported the positive lagged relationship of health app use with fruit and vegetable consumption, significant after controlling for confounders and baseline fruit and vegetable consumption. The association was smaller among respondents with higher education. Our findings suggest the positive effect of using multiple health apps on fruit and vegetable consumption, implying the importance of finding the best combination of health apps to maximize their effectiveness in promoting healthy eating. Also, the negative interaction of health app use and education support using mobile communication technology to improve the public health of low socioeconomic status individuals.