Juan M. Fontana and Edward S. Sazonov, Sensor Letters, Volume 11, Number 3, March 2013 , pp. 560-565(6)
Monitoring Ingestive Behavior (MIB) of individuals is of special importance to identify and treat eating patterns associated with obesity and eating disorders. Current methods for MIB require subjects reporting every meal consumed, which is burdensome and tend to increase the reporting bias over time. This study presents an evaluation of the burden imposed by two wearable sensors for MIB during unrestricted food intake: a strain sensor to detect chewing events and a throat microphone to detect swallowing sounds. A total of 30 healthy subjects with various levels of adiposity participated in experiments involving the consumption of four meals in four different visits. A questionnaire was handled to subjects at the end of the last visit to evaluate the sensors burden in terms of the comfort levels experienced. Results showed that sensors presented high comfort levels as subjects indicated that the way they ate their meal was not considerably affected by the presence of the sensors. A statistical analysis showed that chewing sensor presented significantly higher comfort levels than the swallowing sensor. The outcomes of this study confirmed the suitability of the chewing and swallowing sensors for MIB and highlighted important aspects of comfort that should be addressed to obtain acceptable and less burdensome wearable sensors for MIB.
Keywords: chewing; comfort rating scales; eating disorders; monitoring ingestive behavior; swallowing; wearable sensors.