M2M Fights the War on Waistlines

Swimsuit season is almost over, but that’s no reason to put your health and physique on the backburner. Of course, not all of us are immensely knowledgeable about the ins and outs of diet and exercise. Luckily, M2M is here to help.

For instance, this month the New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, www.nyc.gov/health, released CalCutter, a free mobile app designed to help both home cooks and professional chefs calculate how many calories are in the food they prepare. With this knowledge, they can shift recipes around to reduce overall calorie count.

Available for Android and iPhone, CalCutter uses the ingredients and the number of servings in a dish to calculate calories-per-serving. The app also suggests alternative ingredients or cooking methods to make the dish healthier. The NYC Health Dept. will also be working with celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito to incorporate low-calorie ingredient swap suggestions into CalCutter.

“Many people want to count calories as a way to avoid gaining weight, but they have no way of knowing how many calories are in restaurant food or even food they prepare themselves …” New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says. “We encourage both restaurant cooks and home cooks to use this tool and prepare food with calorie counts that fit into a healthy diet.”

But mobile apps aren’t the only M2M resource available to users hoping to slim down. While it may not be the first option that comes to mind, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, www.jmir.org, recently looked into Twitter as a diet and weight loss resource.

A recent study by the Journal found Twitter can provide a method for capturing realtime food consumption and diet-related behavior. The study was comprised of 50 adults, who were asked to record their food and drink intake over three days using their mobile device’s Twitter application. Participants were asked to use different hashtags to convey various foods and contexts, such as #mood, #protein, #convenience, etc.

A total of 773 tweets and 2,682 hashtags were recorded. The most frequently reported food groups were #grains (365 tweets), protein (307), and #dairy (221). The most frequently cited reasons for eating were #convenience (173), #taste (146), and #social (122). The journal intends to use this data in the designing of future studies.

In the end, M2M has proven it can be a valuable tool, not only in the war on wastelines, but in healthcare as a whole. We control much of our own health through what we put in our bodies. With the help of connected technology, we can ensure the food we eat gives us the nourishment and nutrition to live long, healthy lives.

Want to tweet about this article? Use the hashtags #M2M, #nutrition

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June/July 2014
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