Photo credit: SilkLab, Tufts University
The future is upon us.
Could this be the answer yo-yo dieters have been searching for? Meet what’s currently being referred to as the Tufts sensor, created by researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, Massachusetts.
This tiny food sensor measures a simple two millimeters by two millimeters and has an inner layer that absorbs the nutrients from foods and beverages consumed before transmitting the data via radio frequency to your mobile device. Sounds pretty next level, right?
The current Tufts sensor under development, similar to a sticker, would be applied to a dry tooth. Peter Tseng, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, suggests placing the sensor towards the back of the mouth where it has more access to saliva while you eat.
As of now, the nutrient sensor can detect salt, sugar, and alcohol, although “it may be possible to modify the inner layer to target other nutrients,” says co-creator Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., a professor in the department of biomedical engineering at Tufts.
Why This Matters
For those whose food monitoring effects more than just their waistline, this helpful device could make a world of difference to diabetics, those with high blood pressure, and other diseases that could potentially be life-threatening.
However, this nifty little device may not be the best for the general public looking to lose or control their weight. First published in Livestrong, Samantha Heller, RDN, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center, is quoted:
For the average person who’s trying to lose weight, we want them to focus on food and creating healthy lifestyle habits that we can live with forever […] I’m concerned that once the American public gets its hands on it, they’ll focus on a single nutrient, which we already do with fad diets.
While this product may not be on the market yet, it showcases the direction that technology is taking us and opens the discussion of what’s next in nutrition tracking and personal healthcare. Until then, it might be beneficial to start tracking your nutrition in ways that are readily available to you.
Meal tracking apps can help break down food nutrients and keep you on track to creating (or maintaining) a healthier diet. If you’d prefer exploring another avenue it’s always best to consult your personal healthcare physician for options best suited for you.
In a life where not everything may be in your control, the foods you choose to eat are. A healthy, well-balanced diet, combined with a healthy fitness routine can help add years and improve the overall quality of life. Start with us today.
- Bedosky, Lauren. “Could the Tooth Fitbit Be a Weight-Loss Game Changer?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 21 Sept. 2018, www.livestrong.com/article/13711839-could-the-tooth-fitbit-be-a-weight-loss-game-changer/.