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Here Come the Artificial Intelligence Nutritionists

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Whether these A.I. nutritionists are ready for widespread use is still unclear, and there is very little research available from sources outside the companies selling apps.

Credit: Yoshi Sodeoka

After 20 years of living with Type 2 diabetes, Tom Idema had given up hope of controlling his condition. He had tried many diets that proved unsuccessful and even considered weight loss surgery. When his employer offered him a chance to try a new dietary app that uses artificial intelligence to control blood sugar, he took it.

Mr. Idema, 50, sent in a stool sample to get his microbiome sequenced and filled out an online questionnaire with his blood sugar, height, weight and medical conditions. That data was used to create a profile for him, to which he added continued blood sugar measurements for a couple of weeks. After that, the app, called DayTwo, rated different foods according to how good or bad they might be for Mr. Idema's blood sugar, to aid him in making better food choices.

After nearly 500 days using the program, his diabetes is in remission and his blood sugar levels have dropped to the upper end of normal. And even though DayTwo says the app isn't aimed at weight loss, he's gone from 320 pounds to 229 pounds. "I'm wearing pant sizes I haven't worn since high school," said Mr. Idema, who is an administrator at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

DayTwo is just one of a host of apps claiming to offer A.I. eating solutions.

From The New York Times
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