A professor is developing a sensor device worn around the ear that would allow people to keep a track of their diet.
Dr. Edward Sazonov, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at The University of Alabama, said that it will give medical professionals and consumers accurate information that could be missed with self-reporting.
The sensor could provide objective data, helping us better understand patterns of food intake associated with obesity and eating disorders, he further added.
Dubbed as an Automatic Ingestion Monitor, or AIM, it has potential to monitor eating by automatically detecting and capturing imagery of food intake and to estimate the mass and the energy content of ingested food.
The sensor feels vibrations from movement in the jaw during food intake, and the device has been programmed to filter out jaw motions, such as talking, that are not coming from drinking or eating. Estimates of energy intake would be taken from the pictures of food or drink.
The information provided by AIM could be used to improve behavioral weight loss strategies or to develop new kinds of weight-loss interventions. In addition, the AIM could also provide an objective method of assessing the effectiveness of pharmacological and behavioral interventions for eating disorders.