Bite Counter monitors every bite you take

Posted on Aug 4 2011 - 3:46pm by Thomas Sharp

A pedometer is a great tool for motivation people to trim down and get active. But since cutting one’s calorie intake is also a key factor in losing weight, two Clemson University researchers created a device that functions as a pedometer for eating. The Bite Counter is worn like a watch and tracks a pattern of motions to identify when the wearer takes a bite of food.

Computer Engineering professor Adam Hoover and Psychology professor Eric Muth created the Bite Counter to help people track how much they eat.

“At the societal level, current weight-loss and maintenance programs are failing to make a significant impact. Studies have shown that people tend to underestimate what they eat by large margins, mostly because traditional methods rely upon self-observation and reporting,” said Muth. “Our preliminary data suggest that bite count can be used as a proxy for caloric count.”

The device requires the user to press a button to turn it on and off before and after a meal. In between, the Bite Counter counts how many bites have been taken.

The device has shown to be more than 90 percent accurate in counting bites, as seen on its testing results. But just like normal pedometers, the Bite Counter’s counts are not perfect. Motions such as drinking, using a napkin or adjusting glasses while eating might confuse the product. Its creators explained that people normally tend to do the same types of motions meal to meal, so the false counts on long-term tracking is minimal.

The device is available for a whopping £490 ($799) at the product’s official website. When you think about it, shouldn’t people be encouraged to take more bites and chew their food more? It’s a well known fact that eating slower and chewing food more reduces appetite, sounds like a crazy idea to us but science isn’t our strongest point.

What do you think of the bite counter?

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