Automated Extraction of Food Intake Indicators from Continuous Meal Weight Measurements
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Recent studies and clinical practice have shown that the extraction of detailed eating behaviour indicators is critical in identifying risk factors and/or treating obesity and eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. A number of single meal analysis methods that have been successfully applied are based on the Mandometer, a weight scale that continuously measures the weight of food on a plate over the course of a meal. Experimental meal analysis is performed using the cumulative food intake curve, which is produced by the semi-automatic processing of the Mandometer weight measurements, in tandem with the video recordings of the eating session. Due to its complexity and the video recording dependence, this process is not suited to a clinical or a real-life setting.
In this work, we evaluate a method for automating the extraction of an accurate food intake curve, corrected for food additions during the meal and artificial weight fluctuations, using only the raw Mandometer output. Since the method requires no manual corrections or external video recordings it is appropriate for clinical or free-living use. Three algorithms are presented based on rules, greedy decisioning and exhaustive search, as well as evaluation methods of the Mandometer measurements. Experiments on a set of 114 meals collected from both normal and disordered eaters in a clinical environment illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
KeywordsObesity eating disorders Mandometer cumulative food intake curve
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