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Snap-n-Eat nutrition app calculates nutritional info from a picture of food

Snap-n-Eat nutrition app calculates nutritional info from a picture of food | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

A group of researchers with the nonprofit SRI Internationalhave developed a nutrition app that can detect the caloric and nutritional content of food from a picture that you snap with your smartphone.

Obesity is a major problem in the United States – we’ve all seen the powerpoint slides showing CDC maps of obesity prevalence spreading over the past fifty years. Apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt let you track the food you eat in a very detailed way. We also recently reviewed Rise, a platform that lets you snap pictures of your meals and get feedback from certified nutritionists.


Researchers with the nonprofit SRI international recently published a paper describing Snap’n’Eat, an app that lets you snap a picture of your meal and calculates nutritional information like caloric content automatically for you.


Basically, the app figures out which segments of the picture contain food and then tries to figure out what type of food is in each segment. Based on that determination, it estimates the caloric content and other nutritional information.


They found that when dealing with a limited set of samples (fifteen in their tests), they were able to achieve 85% accuracy. But when expanding to a larger sample set, the app did not work as well.

They do note that it may be possible to improve the system by having users “train” the app early on; if the app can be taught about the users typical diet, then its accuracy could be improved.


In some ways, the ability to automatically detect nutritional information from a picture is the “holy grail” of diet apps. It would make diet tracking incredibly easy. However, this study highlights the current challenges and limitations of available technology. Further work is certainly needed but it’s a goal worth working towards given the scope of the problem it seeks to address.


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China bans U.S. poultry, eggs imports amid avian flu fears: USDA

China bans U.S. poultry, eggs imports amid avian flu fears: USDA | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

China has banned all imports of U.S. poultry, poultry products and eggs amid recent reports of highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza found in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

All poultry and poultry related products shipped from the United States after Jan. 8 would be returned or destroyed, according to the agency and the U.S. trade group USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

The ban, effective as of Jan. 8, also applies to poultry breeding stock, which includes live chicks and hatching eggs.

From January through November last year, U.S. exports of poultry products sent to China reached nearly $272 million, said Toby Moore, spokesman for the trade group.

U.S. chicken exports to China from January-November 2014 was 239.768 million lbs, consisting primarily of chicken feet or paws. During that same period, China imported 55.923 million lbs of U.S. turkey.

The country's import of eggs from the United States is marginal, according to industry sources.

"This move is somewhat hypocritical as there have been zero findings of high pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial poultry flock in the U.S. and, China already has a variety of avian influenza strains," said Brett Stuart, chief executive of Global AgriTrends in Denver, Colorado.

China's actions came after Hong Kong in late December suspended imports of certain U.S. poultry and poultry products after two separate virus strains were identified in Whatcom County, Washington, including H5N2 in northern pintail ducks, according to USDA.

This same strain has killed thousands of birds on two Canadian farms in British Columbia.

Additionally, the highly pathogenic 85N8 strain was confirmed in guinea fowl and chickens in a backyard poultry flock in the city of Winston, Oregon.

Neither virus has been found in U.S. commercial poultry. No human cases involving either viral strain have been detected in the United States or Canada, and there are no immediate public health concerns, said USDA.


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Tyson continues effort to cut antibiotics from chicken production

Tyson continues effort to cut antibiotics from chicken production | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Tyson Foods Inc has removed gentamicin, a key antibiotic for human use, from company hatcheries, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.

Arkansas-based Tyson, the nation's largest chicken producer, said the drug and other antibiotics have not been used at its 35 hatcheries since Oct. 1, 2014. The company had not previously given details of what drugs were used at the hatcheries, where chicks are born and kept briefly before being moved to poultry farms.

Gentamicin is a member of an antibiotic class considered "highly important" in human medicine by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The poultry industry has long been under pressure to stop feeding medically important antibiotics to otherwise healthy livestock. Meat companies have used the drugs both to stave off disease and to promote more rapid growth.

Last week, McDonald's Corp said its U.S. restaurants will gradually stop buying chicken raised with antibiotics vital to fighting human infections. Tyson Foods is a major chicken supplier to McDonald's.

Tyson told Reuters this week it is also testing alternatives to medically-important antibiotics for use on the farms that house its chickens after they leave the hatcheries. It says it does not use antibiotics for growth promotion on the farms, but does use them, according to its website, "when prescribed by a veterinarian to treat or prevent disease."

Rival chicken producer Perdue Farms announced last summer that it had stopped using all antibiotics in its hatcheries, including gentamicin, because it wanted "to move away from conventional antibiotic use" due to "growing consumer concern and our own questions about the practice."

Gentamicin has been commonly used in hatcheries to fight off infection or prevent disease, including in fertilized eggs, livestock veterinarians and other poultry producers say.

Tyson sees the policy shift as "a significant first step toward our goal of reducing the use of antibiotics that are also used in human medicine," according to its website.

Tyson has reduced the volume of medically-important antibiotics used in its chicken business by 84 percent since 2011 and the "vast majority of the antibiotics used to raise our chickens are never used in humans," according to a company statement.

While veterinary use of antibiotics is legal, the risk is that overuse could spur the creation of so-called superbugs that develop cross-resistance to antibiotics used to treat humans. Reuters found last year that major U.S. poultry firms were administering antibiotics to their flocks on the farm far more pervasively than regulators realized.


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Eating the Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life

Eating the Mediterranean diet may lead to a longer life | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Eating a Mediterranean diet may be your key to living longer. That's according to a new study led by Immaculata De Vivo, associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School.

The diet involves eating items off a menu that is rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and peas, unrefined grains, olive oil and fish. It keeps dairy, meat and saturated fats to a minimum. And you can have a glass of red wine with dinner without cheating.

Can meditation really slow aging?

The diet has been consistently linked with health benefits that includes helping you manage your weight, and it can lower your risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease.

This new research looks at data from 4,676 healthy middle-aged women involved in the Nurses' Health Study, an ongoing study tracking the health of more than 120,000 U.S. nurses since 1976.

It found women who ate a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres.

A Mediterranean diet prevents strokes

Telomeres are part of your chromosomes, the thread-like structures that house your DNA. At the end of these chromosomes are telomeres, a kind of protective "cap" that keeps the structure from unraveling. It thereby protects your genetic information.


Even in healthy people, telomeres shorten with age. Shorter telomeres are associated with aging, lower life expectancy and age-related diseases such as artherosclerosis, certain cancers and liver disease.

Scientists have noticed some lifestyle choices such as smoking, being overweight or obese and drinking a lot of sugar sweetened drinks can prematurely shorten a person's telomeres.

Scientists believe oxidative stress and inflammation can also shorten them.

How to get super fit at any age

Fruits, vegetables, olive oils and nuts -- the key components of a Mediterranean diet -- have well-known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The team of U.S. researchers led by De Vivo therefore wanted to see whether the women who stuck with this diet had longer telomeres.

"This is the largest population-based study addressing the association between Mediterranean diet adherence and telomere length in healthy, middle aged women," they write. The study included completed detailed food questionnaires and blood tests to measure telomere length.


Each participant had a calculated diet score ranging from 0 to 9 points; a higher score signifies a closer resemblance to the Mediterranean diet. Each one point change in diet score corresponded an average of 1.5 years of telomere aging.

Telomere shortening is irreversible but healthy "lifestyle choices can help prevent accelerated shortening," says De Vivo.

Healthy aging, four keys

This study's results provide "some insight into the underlying physiologic mechanism behind this association," indicating that greater adherence to this diet is significantly associated with longer telomeres, she says. Because of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the Mediterranean diet, following this diet "could balance out the 'bad effects' of smoking and obesity," De Vivo says.

These findings further support "the health benefits of greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet for reduction of overall mortality, increased longevity and reduced incidence of chronic diseases, especially major cardiovascular diseases."

None of the individual dietary components was associated with telomere length. Researchers suggest that means the whole diet is an important element, rather than one item being a kind of superfood.

That sweet drink may age you

Dr. Peter Nilsson, a professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Research at Lund University in Sweden, who wrote an accompanying editorial, suggests that the variation in telomere length and dietary patterns may also be because of genetic background factors.

While promising, Nilsson believes that future studies "should take into account the possibility of interactions between genes, diet and sex."

With these results, De Vivo and her research team hope in the future to figure out which components of the Mediterranean diet may be having a bigger impact on telomere length.

Next they also hope to study the same thing in men.



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shelly-4's curator insight, December 4, 2014 11:43 AM

the main idea of this video: study shows mediterranean diet can extend life.

eating nuts, Vegetables, red wine and etc. are preety good.

Randy Bauer's curator insight, September 16, 2015 6:29 PM

The Med Diet is not only Healthy but a satisfying approach to  culinary delight if you are a Foodie.

The Mediterranean Diet provides and supports

> Decreased incidence of stroke/cardiovascular disease

> Healthy brain function (maintains telomere length)

> Anti-Inflammatory

> Anti-oxidant rich

 

Research supports the Med Diet as Pro-Anti-Aging

 

Include healthy protein from Fish and Grass Fed Beef to compliment the diet. You do not need to eat an 8-ounce steak. Just cut a few ounces to pump up that Med Salad.

 

Also, don't cook those oils(olive, avocado) when prepping your food. Instead blanch your veggies until bright green and add your oils when on the plate or bowl.

 

Bon Appetite

 

Randy Bauer