An Indian-origin duo from the Salk Institute, Satchidananda Panda and Shubhroz Gill have designed a smart phone app that records one’s erratic eating habits and helps in reducing them, preventing the ‘metabolic jetlag’, and also analyzing and interpreting patterns of the food intake in humans.
Dr. Panda is an associate professor at the Salk Institutes regulatory biology laboratory, while Gill is a post doctoral associate.
The NRI scientists have kept the app 'simple', by asking the users to send pictures of everything they ate or drank, 'and a timestamp is recorded' as the only requirement for the analysis.
Gill said, “Many participants got used to the process of taking pictures of what they ate or drank, which is an example of a new class of research studies that are now possible because of smart phones. For instance the data found yogurt was a morning food, sandwiches and burgers were primarily reserved for lunch, and vegetables and ice cream were saved for the evenings”.
The duo in its process of making the app a powerful tool for personalized medicine, will now test the benefits of time-restricted feeding under different conditions of sleep, activity and disease.