Gone are the days of Weight Watchers’ calorie cards and the ever-exuberant Richard Simmons’ Deal-A-Meal plan. Today’s modern person looking to trim their waistline typically uses an online food journal or calorie counter. Think about all the apps and sites are aimed at helping folks shed a few pounds – MyFitnessPal, Body Weight Planner, Lose It! and even one named Fat Secret. You catch my drift.
But will these plug-and-chug calculators soon be relegated to weight loss history? Perhaps.
According to Science Daily, researchers out of Tufts University’s School of Engineering have developed a device that measures nutritional data about what you’re eating, while you’re eating.
This tiny, square device measures in at 2mm by 2mm, and works by being mounted directly onto one of your teeth. It employs radio-frequency identification, or RFID, the technology that drives hotel room cards, electronic toll collection and pet chip identification. From there, the nutrition-measuring dynamo wirelessly transmits data to a mobile device about the amount of glucose, salt and alcohol levels that you ingest.
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Soon to be published in the journal Advanced Materials, initial findings indicate that the sensor can differentiate between solutions of purified water, glucose in various concentrations, wood alcohol, 50% alcohol and artificial saliva (don’t ask me how that’s made).
So far, tests have only been conducted in small-scale studies. Still, the device holds promise for those seeking to monitor and regulate high blood pressure, diabetes and weight through diet. Additional functionalities of the device could include stress tracking and management, which are indicated by certain chemicals in our saliva.
While still in the testing phase, researchers are hopeful to bring the product to market. If it indeed proves successful, it could take the guesswork out of counting nutrients and calories, and give health-minded consumers a more precise way of measuring what they eat.
Cover Image: Silklab, Tufts University