Have you ever thought about counting the number of bites you take per snack, per meal or per day? Two Clemson University researchers are wanting us to be more aware of our eating by counting how many bites we take.
Psychology Professor Eric Muth and electrical and computer engineering Professor Adam Hoover have created the “Bite Counter,” a measurement device that will make it easier for people to monitor how much they eat. Worn like a watch, the Bite Counter device tracks a pattern of wrist-roll motion to identify when the wearer has taken a bite of food.
Professor Muth says the research will provide some baseline data for new and innovative weight-loss studies. “We’re doing research now that is showing that for an individual there is a relationship between the bites that you take and the calories that you eat,” he says. “And at this point, for an individual, the device certainly is showing you your relative intake.”
The standard for measuring eating habits involves a subject filling out a diary or journals. The problem, Muth says, “People will do this for a few days. However few people will do it diligently for weeks in a way to track what they’re eating.”
The Bite Counter is automated, therefore removing any user bias. The device can be used anywhere, such as at restaurants or at work, where people find it difficult to manually track and remember calories.
The Bite Counter relates to calorie counting or as a device used for weight loss. Muth adds that while it’s obvious bites of certain foods are of different caloric values, the research they’re doing now is to show there is a relationship between the number of bites you take and the calories you eat.
Muth says the device automatically counts how many bites you take, but it could help you with portion control. ” So once you wear the device for a week,” he explains, “you’ll get a feel for how many bites you typically take during the day, and when you take those bites.”
The devices are currently being tested, with manufacturing is underway.