What if I was able to learn everything about you and your eating habits just by the touch of a button?
Self-tracking devices are fantastic for the consumer and also the Registered Dietitian (RD). We RDs assist with our clients’ weight loss (or weight gain depending on the circumstances) and the info that self-tracking devices provide can be very helpful. As an RD, I find it beneficial to learn at the beginning of a client meeting: the times, the amounts, and the food choices the person makes each day. But I have to point out — the technology can sometimes creep me out.
Case in point: there will now be a tracking device that will be worn as an earpiece. The product that will first be marketed is called a BitBite and it uses two-way communication. You eat and it talks to you via the earpiece. According to their product info, it “not only senses and analyzes how you’re eating, but also responds with real-time advice and suggestions developed by registered dietitians and medical experts”. In other words, it will provide power-of-suggestion to help the consumer improve their food choices. As they put it, “BitBite is an Automatic Dietary Recording System (ADRS) that combines simple tracking with a direct-response, power-of-suggestion system”.
If my client had this device, then I could actually learn their bites per second and swallowing information along with the length of the meal and the quantity they consumed. I don’t know about you, but to be completely candid, I find that the information seems to set up a person to be completely micromanaged. I absolutely enjoy counseling my clients and I get a deep satisfaction with their ability to “own” their decision. When they decrease the amount of food on their plate, it was their decision. When they choose a better food choice, then it was their decision after proper counseling on what decisions they can improve. I find it incredibly important to have the person directly involved in their process of weight change and this includes their autonomy to make those decisions.
I’m concerned that technology such as this makes the person less confident and it almost seems to force them to be reliant on the power of an untouchable person or group (even if it’s a well-educated competent medical group). I don’t think sharing my opinion of this is necessarily professional suicide on my part, but I am very interested in the thoughts of others while I keep an open mind on this.
Do you think you would benefit from a tracking device such as this?
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