Researchers in Tuscaloosa are testing some new technology that could help people shed a few pounds.

The National Institute of Health has awarded researchers at the University of Alabama a $2.5 million grant to test a wearable device that is designed to change eating behaviors.

This prototype uses a tiny camera to photograph food and also contains sensors that manage how quickly the person wearing it eats. It then organizes that data for users. Researcher Dr. Edward Sazonov says that the device is designed to fit into people’s on-the-go lifestyle and still help people achieve their goals.

“For example you could be working a computer, watching tv, grabbing something out of the bowl and eating it,” Sazonov said. “So trying to identify individual behavioral patterns and work with those patterns to see what kind of intervention we may offer to that specific person.”

Sazanov calls it “AIM,” which is an acronym for Automatic Ingestion Monitor. The UA researchers are working with four other schools and hope to have the device ready in the next three years.

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