Thought on Food: A Systematic Review of Current Approaches and Challenges for Food Intake Detection

Sensors (Basel). 2022 Aug 26;22(17):6443. doi: 10.3390/s22176443.


Nowadays, individuals have very stressful lifestyles, affecting their nutritional habits. In the early stages of life, teenagers begin to exhibit bad habits and inadequate nutrition. Likewise, other people with dementia, Alzheimer's disease, or other conditions may not take food or medicine regularly. Therefore, the ability to monitor could be beneficial for them and for the doctors that can analyze the patterns of eating habits and their correlation with overall health. Many sensors help accurately detect food intake episodes, including electrogastrography, cameras, microphones, and inertial sensors. Accurate detection may provide better control to enable healthy nutrition habits. This paper presents a systematic review of the use of technology for food intake detection, focusing on the different sensors and methodologies used. The search was performed with a Natural Language Processing (NLP) framework that helps screen irrelevant studies while following the PRISMA methodology. It automatically searched and filtered the research studies in different databases, including PubMed, Springer, ACM, IEEE Xplore, MDPI, and Elsevier. Then, the manual analysis selected 30 papers based on the results of the framework for further analysis, which support the interest in using sensors for food intake detection and nutrition assessment. The mainly used sensors are cameras, inertial, and acoustic sensors that handle the recognition of food intake episodes with artificial intelligence techniques. This research identifies the most used sensors and data processing methodologies to detect food intake.

Keywords: biosensors; food intake detection; image processing; neural networks; nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Eating
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment*