ChatGPT for Nutrition: AI Chatbots Can Provide Reliable Nutrition Information, Study Finds

ChatGPT for Nutrition

Yes, ChatGPT for Nutrition Guidance is an option. A new study published in JAMA Network Open has shown that artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots can provide accurate and consistent information on the calorie and macronutrient content of foods. The study compared the performance of two chatbots, ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4, with a nutritionist using different languages (English and Traditional Chinese) as inputs.

How to use ChatGPT for Nutrition?

The researchers found that both chatbots were able to estimate the energy, carbohydrate, and fat contents of eight menus designed for adults, with no significant differences from the nutritionist’s recommendations. However, the chatbots tended to overestimate the protein content of the foods. The chatbots also had a high degree of consistency, with a coefficient variation of less than 10% for most food items.

The following prompt was entered into ChatGPT for both 3.5 and 4.0: “As a dietitian, please draw a table to calculate line by line the energy (kcal)/carbohydrates (g)/lipids (g)/proteins (g) of the following food items (raw, not cooked).

They found no significant differences were observed between a nutritionist and AI estimations of energy, carbohydrate, and fat contents of 8 menus designed for adults, but there was a significant difference in protein estimation.

The study suggests that AI chatbots can be a useful and convenient tool for people who want to know the nutrition information of their foods, especially in a digital world where online nutrition-related information is often inaccurate or of low quality. However, the chatbots are not able to provide personalized dietary advice, such as specific nutrition guidelines and exact portion sizes, and users need to be aware of the limitations and potential biases of AI chatbots.

Difference between ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4

ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4 are both advanced versions of OpenAI’s language model. ChatGPT 3.5 is an improvement upon the previous iterations, designed to better understand and respond to natural language. It is trained on a vast amount of text data to generate human-like responses in conversation.

On the other hand, ChatGPT 4 represents a further advancement. It is built upon the success of its predecessors, with enhanced capabilities for more coherent and context-aware responses. ChatGPT 4 is designed to better understand nuances in language and produce even more human-like interactions.

Testing ChatGPT for Nutrition

Let’s run the prompt in both ChatGPT 3.5 and ChatGPT 4 for the Honey Crisp Apple.

Output from ChatGPT 4:

Here is the nutritional breakdown for a medium-sized Honeycrisp apple (raw, not cooked):

NutrientHoneycrisp Apple (per medium apple)
Energy (kcal)80.0
Carbohydrates (g)22.0
Lipids (g)0.3
Proteins (g)0.5
Output using ChatGPT 4

Output from ChatGPT 3.5

Food ItemEnergy (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Lipids (g)Proteins (g)
HoneyCrisp Apple95 kcal25 g0.3 g0.5 g
Output using ChatGPT 3.5

The study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, and involved researchers from Taipei Medical University and other institutions.

What other ways can ChatGPT be used for Nutritional Guidance

ChatGPT can be utilized for nutritional guidance in various ways:

  1. Personalized Meal Planning: ChatGPT can generate customized meal plans based on dietary preferences, restrictions, and nutritional needs, offering a diverse range of healthy and balanced options.
  2. Nutritional Q&A: Users can ask ChatGPT-specific questions about nutrition, such as the benefits of certain foods, recommended daily intake of nutrients, or the impact of different diets on health.
  3. Recipe Suggestions: ChatGPT can recommend nutritious recipes tailored to an individual’s dietary requirements and taste preferences, providing an extensive selection of dishes to try.
  4. Habit Tracking and Reminders: ChatGPT can assist in setting and tracking nutrition-related goals, reminding users to stay hydrated, consume enough servings of fruits and vegetables, or maintain a consistent eating schedule.
  5. Educational Content: ChatGPT can generate informative articles, blog posts, or infographics on various nutritional topics, helping users understand the importance of different nutrients and make informed dietary choices.

Source: Hoang YN, Chen Y, Ho DKN, et al. Consistency and Accuracy of Artificial Intelligence for Providing Nutritional Information. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(12):e2350367. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.50367

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