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Research investigating the influence of the environmental and social factors on eating behaviours in free-living settings is limited. This study investigates the utility of using wearable camera images to assess the context of eating episodes. Adult participants (N = 40) wore a SenseCam wearable camera for 4 days (including 1 familiarisation day) over a 15-day period in free-living conditions, and had their diet assessed using three image-assisted multiple-pass 24-hour dietary recalls. The images of participants' eating episodes were analysed and annotated according to their environmental and social contexts; including eating location, external environment (indoor/outdoor), physical position, social interaction, and viewing media screens. Data for 107 days were used, with a total of 742 eating episodes considered for annotation. Twenty nine per cent (214/742) of the episodes could not be categorised due to absent images (12%, n = 85), dark/blurry images (8%, n = 58), camera not worn (7%, n = 54) and for mixed reasons (2%, n = 17). Most eating episodes were at home (59%) and indoors (91%). Meals at food retailers were 24.8 minutes longer (95% CI: 13.4 to 36.2) and were higher in energy (mean difference = 1196 kJ 95% CI: 242, 2149) than at home. Most episodes were seated at tables (27%) or sofas (26%), but eating standing (19%) or at desks (18%) were common. Social interaction was evident for 45% of episodes and media screens were viewed during 55% of episodes. Meals at home watching television were 3.1 minutes longer (95% CI: -0.6 to 6.7) and higher in energy intake than when no screen was viewed (543 kJ 95% CI: -32 to 1120). The environmental and social context that surrounds eating and dietary behaviours can be assessed using wearable camera images.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.appet.2015.05.019

Type

Journal article

Journal

Appetite

Publication Date

09/2015

Volume

92

Pages

118 - 125

Keywords

Context, Eating behaviour, Nutrition assessment, SenseCam, Adult, Body Mass Index, Diet, Diet Records, Energy Intake, Environment, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Meals, Mental Recall, New Zealand, Photography, Social Environment, Television