Wearable food intake monitoring technologies: A comprehensive review

Tri Vu, Feng Lin, Nabil Alshurafa, Wenyao Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Wearable devices monitoring food intake through passive sensing is slowly emerging to complement self-reporting of users’ caloric intake and eating behaviors. Though the ultimate goal for the passive sensing of eating is to become a reliable gold standard in dietary assessment, it is currently showing promise as a means of validating self-report measures. Continuous food-intake monitoring allows for the validation and refusal of users’ reported data in order to obtain more reliable user information, resulting in more effective health intervention services. Recognizing the importance and strength of wearable sensors in food intake monitoring, there has been a variety of approaches proposed and studied in recent years. While existing technologies show promise, many challenges and opportunities discussed in this survey, still remain. This paper presents a meticulous review of the latest sensing platforms and data analytic approaches to solve the challenges of food-intake monitoring, ranging from ear-based chewing and swallowing detection systems that capture eating gestures to wearable cameras that identify food types and caloric content through image processing techniques. This paper focuses on the comparison of different technologies and approaches that relate to user comfort, body location, and applications for medical research. We identify and summarize the forthcoming opportunities and challenges in wearable food intake monitoring technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Food intake
  • Food intake monitoring
  • Signal processing schemes
  • Wearable sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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