Feds Developing Technology to Detect Obesity from Your Picture

The federal government is developing a body mass index (BMI) detector intended to be available to every American “anywhere and anytime,” according to a grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The detector is expected to rely on the analysis of facial and body imagery.

The project has been awarded $200,113 thus far to create the system under the notion that too many obese individuals are unaware of their BMI.

“Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of the ratio between an individual’s weight and height, which is an important parameter to characterize human bodies into four categories, i.e., underweight, normal, overweight, and obese,” the grant states. “A high BMI value is associated with a higher risk for conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.”

“The study of this project leads to development of an intelligent and computational system that can be used by everybody at anywhere and anytime,” the grant adds. “The developed system enables people to [be] aware their BMI and understand the strongly correlated high risks of various diseases to combat overweight and obesity.”