Research shows that taking photos of our food could be good for us

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New Curtin University research reveals that taking photos of food is not just content for our social media feeds, but could be the key to improving people’s diets.

In the nutrition study, researchers measured the weight of the meals, which were then provided to participants for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the course of a day. “Accuracy of Estimation of Energy and Nutrient Intake Versus Observed Intake Using Four Technology-Assisted Dietary Assessment Methods: A Randomized Crossover Dietary Study” was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Participants compared different technology-enabled methods to remember what they had eaten in the past 24 hours.

One method asked participants to take photos of their meals using the Food Record mobile app.

These photos were then analyzed by a research dietitian.

The study found that accuracy of nutritional intake was much higher for the group who had pictures of what they ate, compared to participants who were asked to remember what they had eaten.

First author and Ph.D. candidate Clare Whitton said this was the largest nutrition survey using the Food Record mobile app and the findings could have a major impact on the way we record what the population eats.

“Accurate, reliable data on what the population eats is key to supporting people to optimize their health,” Whitton said.

“People have difficulty remembering what they’ve eaten, but this study shows that dietary assessment can be accurate, especially if you take the burden off the person when you ask them to take a photo of what they’ve eaten.” .”

While the study involved analyzing food photos by experts, efforts are underway to streamline the process.

The team is working with Purdue University in the US to use artificial intelligence to automatically analyze the foods in the photos.

Research leader and co-creator of the mobile Food Record App, Professor Deborah Kerr, said this was an exciting development in getting a bigger picture of what people eat.

“It makes it a lot easier for people to keep track of what they consume if all they have to do is take photos for the day,” says Kerr.

“This will become even easier as we fully automate the analysis of the foods in the photos.

“With advances in AI technology, this could be just around the corner.”

Kerr said that as the technology advances, it could provide a way to not only better capture what populations eat, but also provide more accurate nutritional advice to people who want to eat healthier.

“This research shows the benefit of images; that’s the path we’re taking to get an accurate picture of what people eat.”

More information:
Clare Whitton et al., Accuracy of Estimating Energy and Nutrient Intake Versus Observed Intake Using 4 Technology-Assisted Dietary Assessment Methods: A Randomized Cross-over Dietary Trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2024). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2024.04.030

Provided by Curtin University

Quote: Taking photos of our food could be good for us, study suggests (2024, May 30) retrieved June 2, 2024 from .html

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