Get Healthier by Taking Photos of Your Food

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By Gillie Houston Posted September 30, 2016

Users can log meals and calculate calories by simply snapping a pic with their smartphone.

Those who have ever been on a calorie-cutting diet—which, by our estimate, is just about everyone—know the struggle of calculating the nutritional value of a restaurant dish. Now, Boston-based startup Lose It! aims to eliminate this problem altogether with a photo-based calorie tracking tool called Snap It.

According to TechCrunch, Snap It, which will function as a beta feature within the existing Lose It! app, will allow heath-conscious diners to easily log calories just by snapping a pic with their smartphone. Upload photos of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner into the database, and Snap It does all of the complicated math for you. Once the photo is uploaded, users will be able to input additional information about the dish at hand, including the serving size.

While the app won't be able to detect every ingredient hidden within a dish—including the extra stick of butter or two hidden in those bakery cookies you just bought—it will do its best to identify and approximate the nutritional value of each of the items contained in the picture. 

The current version of the technology utilizes a database that contains 101,000 images associated with 101 food categories. According to the developers, Snap It has currently exhibited between 87.1 and 97.1 percent accuracy when identifying menu items, and could change the calorie counting game forever.

As of now, the system is still working out some blind spots, like differentiating between white hamburger buns and wheat (aren't we all.)

Snap It is a diet-ocracy, not a dictatorship. "When tracking is as simple as snapping a picture, it becomes accessible to nearly everyone," says Teague. Plus, the next time you're snapping a pic of your eggs benedict for the Insta, you can insist you're also doing it for your health. Win, win.

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