How is Information Technology used to improve our eating?

    Influencing our food choices, the use of information technology in devices at home, restaurants, grocery stores, and food retail outlets are providing consumers with more information, previously not known. From warnings to education, food retailers use loyalty programs to inform customers about food recalls to self-scanning systems detailing the nutritional content of purchased food.

    In activities, such as dining out, restaurants for example will provide nutritional information through its websites, receipt transactions, self-standing kiosks, and hand-held devices of restaurant servers. An improvement to dietary choices can now inform the consumer of ingredients, warding off allergies, dietary concerns, hazardous food restrictions, and health-conscious needs.

    Propelling the consumer’s data capture pertaining to food is Internet of Things (IoT), such as hand-held devices and wearables which allow devices to be customized for consumers’ dietary needs. This is not where the data collection stops. There are devices such as cellphones that can detect and measure heartbeats, oxygen levels, and energy expended. With this data collection set, in addition to food choices registered across other apps, integration between the two creates a large pool of data. Algorithms created can analyze or create profiles for the consumer based on his/her goals or suggest another possible outcome in form of warnings or approvals.

    Consider an entire workforce, family, or socially-connected group sharing their data about energy expenditures and food collected, a healthy lifestyle expert could help influence what to eat and do for activities to improve cognitive thinking, mood, and energy levels of the consumer. Evidence of this already appears in popular portals such as Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and even running app, NikePlus.

    The Internet helps disseminate information on groups improving their health through crowd-sourcing participation. Shaping America’s Health is a program that aimed to “fight obesity by providing tools, programs, and processes that empower individuals, families and health professionals in building community environments to reduce overweight and obesity.” (1)

    In summary, changing your mind, mood, and attitude toward making healthier life choices has become easier to do. With advances in knowledge known about food and its nutrients, how an individualized diet can help one’s body performs with certain benefits and other data collected from wearables, we have a living and breathing human ge at play, which will ultimately change how we eat and live productively and healthy, with wellness topping the list for years to come.

    Articles Cited

    1. Lewis, K. D., & Burton-Freeman, B. M. (2010, February 01). Role of Innovation and Technology in Meeting Individual Nutritional Needs. Retrieved June 7, 2021, from

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