journal of biomedical informatics
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Balancing Calories with Smartphone

Author(s): Flavio Bertini, Carlo Destro, Danilo Montesi

Background: People gain weight when assume more calo- ries than their body can consume. Instead, they lose weight when they consume more than what they eat. Comparing the body to a closed system, we can call calorie balance the di erence between the input and output calories. However, keep a balanced diet regime is never a rewarding activity and often people give up.

Objectives: The goal is to help subjects with overweight problems: educate these people reduces the number of peo- ple that might migrate in the obese class. We propose an application to encourage healthier lifestyles, whose inno- vative feature is an automatic adaptive monitoring of the daily calorie balance. The system uses a familiar device and motivates the users to reach best result with the diet.

Methods: The energy consumption is related to the oxy- gen consumption, obviously also if combined with physical activity. The heart rate is directly related to the supply of oxygen. Using this simple relation, the heartbeats are bound to the calorie consumption.

Results: People achieve a greater awareness about food dosage and its calories weight. Moreover the application allows a more careful choice in food selection in order to not vanish the e orts made to change the lifestyles.

Conclusions: We have obtained good result with o -the- shelf hardware and user friendly software solutions. The users consider the system like a game where they have to keep higher the burned calories level. A motivational application has been found to be a winning card to promote healthier lifestyles, without intimidating the user.