Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Can Mobile Phones Help People EatWell?

Most people know the rules of healthy eating, but most of us might eat a little healthier if we were reminded. Now a researcher at Georgia Tech is testing using a mobile phone to help community members steer themselves away from that chocolate cake and toward the fruits and veggies. The research was presented at the Conference on Computer Supported Work held in Savannah, GA last week.

“I wanted to make a system that was able to harness the community-held expertise, not just bringing in outside expertise. With mobile phones, I saw an opportunity to use technology to make that information even more visible,” said Andrea Grimes, Ph.D. candidate in the Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Compuing.

The system, known as EatWell, uses mobile phones to record and share audio stories with other members from their community. The idea is that people working together can encourage each other with their stories of how they’ve successfully overcome temptation in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle.

Grimes conducted her pilot study with 12 particpants from a working class background in Southwest Atlanta.

Grimes decided to create the system on a mobile platform because she knew it was a pervasive device that is owned by people from all income levels. She also knew that people could leave messages much faster than typing into a desktop computer or into the mobile phone would allow.

“People talk about being engaged with the content in EatWell because they actually hear the emotion in people’s stories,” Grimes said. “They could hear the pride and excitement people felt when they tried a new smoothie recipe, or when this guy talks about trying out the veggie burger at Burger King and coming back later that day bringing his girlfriend.”

Grimes said the research contained some surprising results. One was that people reported they felt a connection to others in the study, even though they didn’t know the other participants and the transcriptions contained very little in the way of statements of encouragement or talk of collective action.

“Most of the research says that for you to have a strong thriving community there needs to be a lot of interaction between the community members. But from our study, we saw that people felt a sense of community even though there wasn’t a lot of interaction,” she said.

Grimes’ next project, Community Mosaic, involves getting people to take photos of the different ways they are trying to eat healthy and caption them. The photos and captions will be displayed on a big screen at a community center.

“We’re interested in seeing how displaying the content in this way that’s publicly visible affects their interest in sharing. Will they want to see their pictures and strategies on the board, or will they be less likely to share out of fear of people judging them,” said Grimes.

Grimes’s research was done under the advisement of Beki Grinter.

David Terraso | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: EatWell Phones healthier lifestyle mobile phones

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>