ChatGPT Provides Accurate Nutritional Information

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Authors say AI has limitations in ability to personalize nutritional advice

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — ChatGPT can be a useful and convenient tool for people who want to know nutritional information of specific food items, according to a research letter published online Dec. 27 in JAMA Network Open.

Yen Nhi Hoang, from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and colleagues investigated the reliability of artificial intelligence (AI) in providing the energy and macronutrient content of 222 food items in both English and Chinese. The reliability of ChatGPT-3.5 (chatbot 1) and ChatGPT-4 (chatbot 2) were compared for providing information on the calorie and macronutrient content (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins).

The researchers observed no significant differences between nutritionist and AI estimations of energy, carbohydrate, and fat contents, but there was a significant difference in protein estimation. Both versions of ChatGPT provided accurate energy contents for approximately 35 to 48 percent of the 222 food items within 10 percent, with a coefficient variation <10 percent. Chatbot 2 performed better than chatbot 1, but overestimated protein.

“Although AI chatbots are designed to be probabilistic, the results of this cross-sectional study suggest that AI can be a useful and convenient tool for people who want to know the energy and macronutrient information of their foods,” the authors write. “Currently, the capability of AI-chatbots to provide personalized dietary advice, such as specific nutrition guidelines and exact portion sizes, is limited.”

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