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Hi-Tech Sensors Aim to Help Prevent Obesity

By BBC News

December 16, 2013

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The European Union is funding a project that intends to use high-tech sensors to get young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

The Splendid project is developing a system to record how fast food is eaten and how food is chewed, as well as activity levels during exercise. A mandometer will be used to measure the speed at which food is eaten. A plate of food will be placed on the sensor's scale and it will measure the rate at which the food leaves the plate. Another firm will develop a wearable microphone to measure how food is chewed, as well as a wearable sensor to track heart rate and activity levels during workouts. The data will be fed to algorithms to assess risks for obesity and eating disorders, and the system will eventually be used to chart more personalized goals for modifying individual eating and exercise habits. Splendid plans to test the system on secondary school students in Sweden and the Netherlands.

"The idea is that we try to investigate ways to prevent obesity and eating disorders," says Aristotle University of Thessaloniki professor Anastasios Delopoulos, the project's coordinator. "The goal is to modify eating and activity behavior of individuals in a personalized way."

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