Ultimate Food and Exercise App

Sep 28, 10 | 11:32 AM   byScott Adams
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Imagine you’re sitting down to eat, but before you take a bite, you whip out your smartphone, fire up a special app, and take a picture of your food. The app identifies the food types by appearance, then calculates the size of your portions, and estimates your intake of calories, carbs, protein, vitamin, mineral, sugar, salt, and so on. Later you can review your data in a variety of ways. You can see your calorie intake for the day, or compare yourself to other people who are your same age, size, activity level, and so on.

At the end of a meal, if you have some food left, you can snap another picture so the app can calculate the net of what you actually ate.

If it seems impossible that an app could recognize food types, consider that software can already recognize faces, voices, specific songs, and fingerprints. Recognizing broccoli can’t be that much harder. And anything that has a label or a wrapper, such as Diet Coke or a Snickers candy bar, would be relatively easy for the app to identify.

Soups and casseroles would be harder to identify and analyze. The app might ask you to supply some information on the main components of the dish. If you said it was a casserole with potato, chicken, and garlic, the app would know that garlic is a minor ingredient and potato is the main ingredient. It might even look at similar recipes in its database and take an average.

The app would not be perfect at estimating, even with your frequent tweaks. But it would be far better than your own guessing. And it would be great at telling you where your diet is lacking. You might think you have a good diet, only to discover that you aren’t getting enough variety of fruits and veggies.

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More of Scott Adams' blog posts, and the Dilbert™ comic strip, can be found at He can be emailed at
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