Pilot testing an electronic food diary among Registered Nurses working night shifts.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Chronobiology international


Diet; electronic food diary; feasibility; metabolic syndrome; nursing; shift work


Populations working night shift are high risk for diet-related chronic illness which may result from circadian misalignment. Studies documenting nutritional habits among night shift workers have relied on inaccurate approximations of dietary intake. The primary purpose of this pilot study was to gather feasibility information regarding the use of a free electronic food diary application, MyFitnessPal, to document on-duty and off-duty eating habits among nurses working 12-h night shift. Secondary aims included comparing average daily intake of nutrients when on-duty versus off-duty and to compare average daily sugar intake to national recommendations for sugar intake. A total of 16 nurses participated with 92% compliance for nutritional logging using the application. Nurses reported significantly more calories consumed from sugar on average when compared to national recommendations both when off-duty (m = 293.5 kcal vs. 173.1 kcal) and on-duty (m = 273.0 kcal vs. 180.4 kcal). No significant differences were detected in self-reported macronutrient consumption within-subjects for on-duty versus off-duty conditions. MyFitnessPal may be feasible for night shift nurses to track dietary intake. Future studies should explore on-duty and off-duty diet and related health outcomes among nurses who work night shifts.

Clinical Institute

Digestive Health