Think before you eat: photographic food diaries as intervention tools to change dietary decision making and attitudes


Lydia Zepeda, Department of Consumer Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706 USA.


This paper examines the use of photographic and written food diaries as interventions to raise awareness of and change dietary habits. Weinstein's precaution adoption theory and Guagnano, Stern and Dietz's Attitude Behaviour Context theory provide the theoretical basis to explain why nutrition knowledge does not result in healthy eating behaviour and why an intervention may be necessary to change attitudes and behaviours. A pilot study using written and photographic food diaries was conducted with 43 participants. Qualitative analysis of participant interviews revealed that photographic food diaries can alter attitudes and behaviours associated with food choices, and they are more likely to do so than written diaries because they serve as an intervention at the point when decisions regarding what to eat are being made.