Future directions for integrative objective assessment of eating using wearable sensing technology

Andrew L Skinner*, Zoi Toumpakari, Christopher J. Stone, Laura Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
73 Downloads (Pure)


Established methods for nutritional assessment suffer from a number of important limitations. Diaries are burdensome to complete, food frequency questionnaires only capture average food intake, and both suffer from difficulties in self estimation of portion size and biases resulting from misreporting. Online and app versions of these methods have been developed, but issues with misreporting and portion size estimation remain. New methods utilising passive data capture are required that address reporting bias, extend timescales for data collection, and transform what is possible for measuring habitual intakes. Digital and sensing technologies are enabling the development of innovative and transformative new methods in this area that will provide a better understanding of eating behaviour and associations with health. In this article we describe how wrist-worn wearables, on-body cameras, and body-mounted biosensors can be used to capture data about when, what and how much people eat and drink. We illustrate how these new techniques can be integrated to provide complete solutions for the passive, objective assessment of a wide range of traditional dietary factors, as well as novel measures of eating architecture, within person variation in intakes, and food/nutrient combinations within meals. We also discuss some of the challenges these new approaches will bring.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Nutrition and Behaviour


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