A parametric Probabilistic Context-Free Grammar for food intake analysis based on continuous meal weight measurements

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2015 Aug:2015:7853-6. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7320212.


Monitoring and modification of eating behaviour through continuous meal weight measurements has been successfully applied in clinical practice to treat obesity and eating disorders. For this purpose, the Mandometer, a plate scale, along with video recordings of subjects during the course of single meals, has been used to assist clinicians in measuring relevant food intake parameters. In this work, we present a novel algorithm for automatically constructing a subject's food intake curve using only the Mandometer weight measurements. This eliminates the need for direct clinical observation or video recordings, thus significantly reducing the manual effort required for analysis. The proposed algorithm aims at identifying specific meal related events (e.g. bites, food additions, artifacts), by applying an adaptive pre-processing stage using Delta coefficients, followed by event detection based on a parametric Probabilistic Context-Free Grammar on the derivative of the recorded sequence. Experimental results on a dataset of 114 meals from individuals suffering from obesity or eating disorders, as well as from individuals with normal BMI, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Anorexia / diet therapy
  • Anorexia / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Eating*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Food Analysis / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meals*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / psychology