Bite count rates in free-living individuals: New insights from a portable sensor

Jimmy Alex, Dusty Turner, Diana M. Thomas, Andrew McDougall, Mirna W. Halawani, Steven B. Heymsfield, Corby K. Martin, Jenna L. Scisco, James Salley, Eric Muth, Adam W. Hoover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Conclusions regarding bite count rates and body mass index (BMI) in free-living populations have primarily relied on self-report. The objective of this exploratory study was to compare the relationship between BMI and bite counts measured by a portable sensor called the Bite Counter in free-living populations and participants eating in residence. Methods: Two previously conducted studies were analyzed for relationships between BMI and sensor evaluated bite count/min, and meal duration. Participants from the first study (N = 77) wore the bite counter in a free-living environment for a continuous period of 14 days. The second study (N = 214) collected bite count/min, meal duration, and total energy intake in participants who consumed one meal in a cafeteria. Linear regression was applied to examine relationships between BMI and bite count/min. Results: There was no significant correlation in the free-living participants average bite counts per second and BMI (R2 = 0.03, p = 0.14) and a significant negative correlation in the cafeteria participants (R 2 = 0.04, p = 0.03) with higher bite count rates observed in lean versus obese participants. There was a significant correlation between average meal duration and BMI in the free-living participants (R 2 = 0.08, p = 0.01). Total energy intake in the cafeteria participants was also significantly correlated to meal duration (R 2 = 0.31, p < 0.001). Conclusions: With additional novel applications of the Bite Counter, insights into free-living eating behavior may provide avenues for future interventions that are sustainable for long term application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalBMC Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Dec 2018


  • Bite count rate
  • Body mass index
  • Energy intake
  • Sensor technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Bite count rates in free-living individuals: New insights from a portable sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this