Recognition of dietary activity events using on-body sensors

O.D. Amft, G. Tröster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: An imbalanced diet elevates health risks for many chronic diseases including obesity. Dietary monitoring could contribute vital information to lifestyle coaching and diet management, however, current monitoring solutions are not feasible for a long-term implementation. Towards automatic dietary monitoring, this work targets the continuous recognition of dietary activities using on-body sensors. Methods: An on-body sensing approach was chosen, based on three core activities during intake: arm movements, chewing and swallowing. In three independent evaluation studies the continuous recognition of activity events was investigated and the precision-recall performance analysed. An event recognition procedure was deployed, that addresses multiple challenges of continuous activity recognition, including the dynamic adaptability for variable-length activities and flexible deployment by supporting one to many independent classes. The approach uses a sensitive activity event search followed by a selective refinement of the detection using different information fusion schemes. The method is simple and modular in design and implementation. Results: The recognition procedure was successfully adapted to the investigated dietary activities. Four intake gesture categories from arm movements and two food groups from chewing cycle sounds were detected and identified with a recall of 80-90% and a precision of 50- 64%. The detection of individual swallows resulted in 68% recall and 20% precision. Sample-accurate recognition rates were 79% for movements, 86% for chewing and 70% for swallowing. Conclusions: Body movements and chewing sounds can be accurately identified using on-body sensors, demonstrating the feasibility of on-body dietary monitoring. Further investigations are needed to improve the swallowing spotting performance. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-136
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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