Background: The nutritional assessment of a patient needs the simultaneous managing a extensive information and a great number of databases, as both aspects of the process of nutrition and the clinical situation of the patient are analyzed. The introduction of computers in the nutritional area constitutes an extraordinary advance in the administration of nutrition information, providing a complete assessment of nutritional aspects in a quick and easy way.
Objective: To develop a computer program that can be used as a tool for assessing the nutritional status of the patient, the education of clinical staff, for epidemiological studies and for educational purposes.
Design: Based on a computer program which assists the health specialist to perform a full nutritional evaluation of the patient, through the registration and assessment of the phenotypic and genotypic features. The application provides nutritional prognosis based on anthropometric and biochemical parameters, images of states of malnutrition, questionnaires to characterize diseases, diagnostic criteria, identification of alleles associated with the development of specific metabolic illnesses and questionnaires of quality of life, for a custom actuation. The program includes, as part of the nutritional assessment of the patient, food intake analysis, design of diets and promotion of physical activity, introducing food frequency questionnaires,
dietary recalls, healthy eating indexes, model diets, fitness tests, and recommendations, recalls and questionnaires of physical activity.
Result: A computer program performed under Java Swing, using SQLite database and some external libraries such as JfreeChart for plotting graphs. This brand new designed software is composed of five blocks categorized into ten modules named: Patients, Anthropometry, Clinical History, Biochemistry, Dietary History, Diagnostic (with genetic make up), Quality of life, Physical activity, Energy expenditure and Diets. Each module has a specific function which evaluates a different aspect of the nutritional status of the patient.
Conclusions: UNyDIET is a global computer program, customized and upgradeable, easy to use and versatile,
aimed to health specialists, medical staff, dietitians, nutritionists,
scientists and educators. This tool can be used as a working instrument in programs promoting health,
nutritional and clinical assessments as well as in the evaluation of health care quality, in epidemiological studies, in nutrition intervention programs and teaching.