In The Future, Calorie Counting Could Be A Lot Easier

Tracking the food you eat can be tedious. But a GE scientist is working on a device that goes over your plate, and tells you exactly what's in the food you're about to eat.

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And if you've eaten a few too many Saskatoon berries, our last word in Business is for you, a calorie-counting app.


Losing weight pretty much boils down to a simple equation, calories in versus calories out. But tracking that can be tedious, logging everything you order or cook at home. Now picture this, a device that you place over your plate and it shows you exactly what's in the food you're about to eat.

INSKEEP: The amount of water, the amount of fat. Now it doesn't exist yet but GE scientist Matt Webster is working on it. This future device, if it ever works would use scales and microwaves to measure how much water and fat is in the food.

MATT WEBSTER: We have the weight of food and the proportion that's water and the proportion that's fat. And from that information we can estimate calories.

MONTAGNE: The prototype still has a ways to go before it's on shelves. Right now it's not actually measuring delicious plates of food, more like beakers of food like liquid.

WEBSTER: So right now we're limited to a blended sample in a box.

MONTAGNE: Mmm, a blended sample in a box.

INSKEEP: Now, if we ever do get a smarter, easier way to count calories in, that still leaves calories out. So if only there was an app that would exercise for you. Siri, jog three miles.

SIRI: If you insist.

INSKEEP: And that's the Business News on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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