Smart Health Applications
Diet related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes cancer and obesity cost the US economy nearly $1 trillion a year . Dietary intervention in conjunction with physical activity and socio-economic environment changes is considered to be one of the significant factors in prevention of such chronic diseases, especially problems related to overweight and obesity. Dietary interventions concentrate on two important aspects: a) the type and amount of food intake, and b) eating behavior, i.e., time, frequency, and speed of eating. There have been significant efforts in designing interventions that consider various aspects of nutritional intake such as number and type of calories. However, such interventions often have financial impacts, especially on low-income populations. On the other hand, interventions that consider speed, time, duration and frequency of eating are behavioral in nature and are thus more affordable.
The presence of various chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, eating disorders such as binge eating or night eating syndrome, or other metabolic syndromes has been shown to be associated with the speed, duration, frequency and times of meals. Faster speed of eating by itself has been identified as a cardiovascular risk factor. Individuals with type 2 diabetes who engaged in faster eating were found to have higher glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) and weight gain. Moreover, interventions that attempted to reduce speed of eating resulted in improvement of postprandial hormonal responses in adults and adolescents.