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IEEE J Sel Top Signal Process. 2010 Aug;4(4):756-766.

The Use of Mobile Devices in Aiding Dietary Assessment and Evaluation.

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School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA ( ).


There is a growing concern about chronic diseases and other health problems related to diet including obesity and cancer. The need to accurately measure diet (what foods a person consumes) becomes imperative. Dietary intake provides valuable insights for mounting intervention programs for prevention of chronic diseases. Measuring accurate dietary intake is considered to be an open research problem in the nutrition and health fields. In this paper, we describe a novel mobile telephone food record that will provide an accurate account of daily food and nutrient intake. Our approach includes the use of image analysis tools for identification and quantification of food that is consumed at a meal. Images obtained before and after foods are eaten are used to estimate the amount and type of food consumed. The mobile device provides a unique vehicle for collecting dietary information that reduces the burden on respondents that are obtained using more classical approaches for dietary assessment. We describe our approach to image analysis that includes the segmentation of food items, features used to identify foods, a method for automatic portion estimation, and our overall system architecture for collecting the food intake information.

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