Weight measurementWeight measurement

The dietary method is one of the methods commonly used to assess nutritional status (Assess Your Nutritional Status | Learn Nutrition Online (learnutritiononline.com). At present, different dietary methods are available. Some of them directly while others indirectly measure the dietary intake of the individual. Similarly, some are prospective (record methods) while some are retrospective (recall methods).

Innovative technologies are being used to develop devices or scales to speed up the dietary assessment of new or existing scales. As a result, quick, effective, and efficient methods are also generated. Dietary assessment scales are currently used to assist the process of dietary data collection-both qualitative and quantitative. The choice of scales depends on the types of dietary methods used, cost involvement, ease of use, efficacy, effectiveness of dietary management in large settings, etc. These factors also influence data generation processes such as before and after data collection and analysis.

It needs to be noted here that each of the dietary methods currently being used by different countries has some advantages and limitations such as-

  1. Recall biases of the respondents,
  2. Memory lapses of the respondents,
  3. Possibility of interfering with the usual food intake environment, culture, etc.
  4. Difficulties in portion size calculation,
  5. Difficulties in plate waste calculation,
  6. Difficulties in household and individual food intake,
  7. The necessity of paper works,
  8. Hassel of using additional tools such as measuring cups, weighing scales,
  9. Cultural and religious barriers, etc.
  10. Requirements of training facilities and special setup.
  11. Literacy, etc.

So, it is recommended to use more than one method for proper dietary assessment. Thus, they may help us to overcome the limitations of a single method used.

This proposed scale would be light in weight, digital in the display, and wired or wireless in collectivity. In addition, it would be convenient to use in separate places to fit varied sizes and shapes of tables or floors.

The basic idea is to develop and use it to monitor food intake continuously easily and effectively in real time. Individual codes of food items served may be used in the software used. Moreover, if codes are designed to link with an updated food composition table, then it would be less time-consuming to use it simultaneously for estimating food intake as well as nutrient intake.

There would be two ways to validate data by comparing the data of the amount of consumed food items from the table (the place where foods were served) to the data getting from the chair (the weight of the person changed after taking each item consumed).

The scale would boost or complement other methods of dietary assessment currently being used by people globally. In addition, it may be a modern, less time-consuming, and cost-saving tool for the assessment of nutritional status in different settings (e.g., rural, and urban, small, and large families, etc.). As a result, quick dietary assessment and advice would be possible for both normal, malnourished, and person with disease(s)

If you are interested to learn more about automatic dietary assessment, please visit related articles from the following links:

Personalised nutrition: the role of new dietary assessment methods | Proceedings of the Nutrition Society | Cambridge Core

DietSensor: Automatic Dietary Intake Measurement Using Mobile 3D Scanning Sensor for Diabetic Patients – PMC (nih.gov)

(PDF) New technology in dietary assessment: A review of digital methods in improving food record accuracy (researchgate.net)

By Md. Khurshidul Zahid, Ph.D.

Md. Khurshidul Zahid Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS) of The University of Dhaka (DU) of Bangladesh. He has completed his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), USA. He was a finalist in the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition organized by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Experimental Biology (EB) meeting held in Boston in 2015. He was also awarded a gold medal by “Professor Dr. Quazi Salamatullah trust foundation” of INFS, DU in 2005.

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