Counting Bites Instead of Calories March 7, 2012
Counting Bites Instead of Calories March 7, 2012

In the never-ending “battle of the bulge,” it seems that we are always counting something. The number of steps we’ve taken, calories burned or consumed, grams of this or that eaten, minutes spent plodding along on the treadmill or the amount of crunches or sit ups performed. Well, now there’s something new to count - how many bites of food you are eating.

Researchers at Clemson University have recently developed the Bite Counter. This wristwatch shaped device is basically a pedometer for your mouth and is designed to record the specific movement of picking up food and transferring it to your mouth.

The device is supposed to be able to determine the distinctive rolling wrist motion of when you pick up food with a utensil and move it to your mouth. The developers claim the Bite Counter is 90% accurate in counting your bites.

As of yet, the counter does not track calories, but the developers say this is in the works. They are working on a formula that will provide an estimate of how many calories you consume based on data that says the average bite is between 20-25 calories.

Other questions that immediately arise are, how does the counter account for what type of food you are eating, the size of the bites, when you’re drinking liquids or holding something close to your mouth while taking multiple bites, like a burger or ice cream cone.

Currently, the Bite Counter only measures the number of times you raise your hand to your mouth and nothing else. So it is very limited in what it can actually tell you, and at $799, is quite an expensive gadget that does so little. But as a general reference tool, it may be somewhat helpful in telling many people that they are either eating too much or too often.

Then again, with obesity rates hitting the 30% mark, counting everything else hasn’t seemed to work that well either.

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