Concept Development and Use of an Automated Food Intake and Eating Behavior Assessment Method

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The vast majority of dietary and eating behavior assessment methods are based on self-reports. They are burdensome and also prone to measurement errors. Recent technological innovations allow for the development of more accurate and precise dietary and eating behavior assessment tools that require less effort for both the user and the researcher. Therefore, a new sensor-based device to assess food intake and eating behavior was developed. The device is a regular dining tray equipped with a video camera and three separate built-in weighing stations. The weighing stations measure the weight of the bowl, plate, and drinking cup continuously over the course of a meal. The video camera positioned to the face records eating behavior characteristics (chews, bites), which are analyzed using artificial intelligence (AI)-based automatic facial expression software. The tray weight and the video data are transported at real-time to a personal computer (PC) using a wireless receiver. The outcomes of interest, such as the amount eaten, eating rate and bite size, can be calculated by subtracting the data of these measures at the timepoints of interest. The information obtained by the current version of the tray can be used for research purposes, an upgraded version of the device would also facilitate the provision of more personalized advice on dietary intake and eating behavior. Contrary to the conventional dietary assessment methods, this dietary assessment device measures food intake directly within a meal and is not dependent on memory or the portion size estimation. Ultimately, this device is therefore suited for daily main meal food intake and eating behavior measures. In the future, this technology based dietary assessment method can be linked to health applications or smart watches to obtain a complete overview of exercise, energy intake, and eating behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere62144
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number168
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2021


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