Scientists have designed a way to precisely monitor the food we eat using a sensor placed on a tooth. No longer will we be able to get away with that bag of chips when no one’s looking.
The links between diet and health are deep and complex. In the simplest terms, we know that we should eat more fresh food and much less processed, salty, fatty, sugary, and delicious food.
However, in the real world, there are plenty of shades of grey in between. Because scientists now know that diet is a very important factor in health, getting to grips with what we eat, how much we eat, and when we eat it is of growing importance.
Currently, methods to track people’s diets are fairly unreliable. The most commonly used practice is a good old-fashioned food diary. However, even if someone is trying to fill it out honestly, it is easy to make errors. For instance, you might forget that you had four beers rather than three.
A new invention from scientists at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, USA, might provide the seed of a solution to this problem. They have designed a tiny, wireless sensor that can be attached to a tooth.
It’s just 2mm square and can flexibly conform and bond to the naturally lumpy and bumpy surface of a tooth. The sensor can collect information about a person’s consumption of salt, glucose, and alcohol as it enters the mouth. Data can be reported in real time.