Why We Underestimate Calorie Totals

The New York Times reports that when asked to track calories, individuals frequently underestimate their daily calorie totals. When, at the end of each day, participants of a recent study provided calorie totals, additional research found their responses underestimated actual totals.  Even researchers studying calorie consumption are challenged to acquire accurate data given that the surveys they use, like the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, rely on individuals’ memories. When participants are asked to recall what and how much was consumed, things like a mid-afternoon handful of potato chips may be left out.

FitClick Image for MW 7

Source: http://fitclick.com

James Mrowka, President of the social fitness community FitClick, believes that mobile diet apps can present researchers and individuals interested in more accurate calorie tracking a more effective solution to calculating calorie totals. The key, however, is to leverage mobile apps that don’t require users to manually enter in totals at the end of the day.

“Mobile diet apps that require users to select foods from long lists of options or to manually enter food items and their quantities are not convenient or expedient. If and when these apps are used, it’s usually at the end of the day and individuals run into the same problem: the inability to accurately recall what was eaten.”

FitClick Image for MW5 (1)

Source: http://fitclick.com

Conversely, FitClick’s new Talk-to-Track app features innovative transcribed-text-to-auto-tracking technology that allows users to verbally state the foods they eat. The app will automatically identify food items from its expansive database and provide accurate calorie totals based on the food and quantity named. The app compiles a running calorie total throughout the course of the day. Users can therefore quickly track their calories as they eat, run errands, or engage in other tasks throughout the day.

“The Talk-to-Track app is a more effective way for individuals to gauge their calorie consumption, and could be used to more accurately complete nutritional surveys, ” Mrowka states.

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