Researchers have created a device that keeps track of the number of bites that a person takes. Called as the bite counter, it is similar to a pedometer that keeps track of footsteps when a person walks. Bite counter has been developed by researchers at the Clemson University. The device has been used by the military to keep track of the body movements of prisoners and insurgents while vacating buildings in Iraq. This device can also be used to count the movements of the wrist when food is passed from the plate to the mouth. According to Adam Hoover, a member of the development team and the electrical engineer who engineered the electronics of the device, the bite counter will be priced at $100 and will be available in the markets in a year.
While the function of the pedometer is to keep track of footsteps, it cannot differentiate between the various kinds of movements.
A bite counter can measure more specific movements like the movement of the wrist. It is to be worn round the wrist like a wrist watch. Hoover said that while walking is a simple body activity, wrist movements are tougher to grasp electronically. He also said that the machine will have an accuracy factor of 90%. The special feature of the bite counter is that it also counts the number of bites that are taken without the use of spoon and fork. Hoover explained that whether a person uses accessories such as spoon, fork or chopsticks, for eating or eats using bare hands, such as when eating fruits, the bite counter counts the all bites since the movement of the wrist is similar in all cases.
The device has been developed by Hoover and Eric Muth, who is a psychologist. Both the researchers have found from their studies that roughly, every bite taken accounts to about twenty five calories. According to Muth, optimum bites depend on a number of factors. However, the device is a huge help when it comes to counting portions. Once this device comes into the market, dieters will probably begin to start thinking of their diet in terms of bites rather than counters. Muth says that for his body and lifestyle activities, 80 bites per day is the healthy count. The effectiveness of the device depends on the will power and desire of a person to lose weight. The device only helps in keeping track of the food eaten.