Hacking Eating Tracking Event – Cambridge, MA September 18th – 20th

The Manifesto

Eating behavior has a major influence on food intake, nutrition and overall health, yet what we know and understand about it is still limited. Importantly, most methods that we use nowadays to study how humans eat are indirect and rely on self-report. Can we do better, particularly given the state of technology in 2015?

The Goal

Bring together a group of creative scientists and hackers to catalyze the development of new ideas and disruptive solutions that can shape the future of the collection and application of quantified human eating behavior data.

The Challenge: Quantifying Human Eating Behavior

Eating is one of the most complex of human behaviors.
On a daily basis we eat:

  • multiple times (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • different formats of food (liquids, solids, snacks, sandwiches or full meals)
  • in different locations and settings (home, work, on the go, at social occasions)
  • influenced by a long list of factors (appetite, taste, availability, price, convenience, familiarity, sociocultural norms, ethical views or religious rules)

Eating behavior can be studied at multiple levels:

  • individual level, reducing it to its basic components (chewing, tasting, swallowing)
  • group/population level (family, school, neighborhood or larger group).

Hacking Eating Tracking is seeking innovative methods and tools that can help quantify and objectively assess human eating behavior to tackle one, several or many of these components.

Why is it important?

Finding better ways to quantify eating behavior can make data more reliable, accurate, confident, and reproducible. These improvements can benefit many areas of scientific research. Additionally, they can be very valuable to enhance our capacity to evaluate and monitor the effects of interventions in medicine and public health.

The Event Content

Hacking Eating Tracking will have an unusual format that can be defined as an hybrid between a scientific symposium and a hackathon. Saturday and Sunday morning there will be three discussion panels covering science, technology and applications. The hackathon will run in parallel with these panels. Sunday afternoon there will be a final pitch and demos of hackathon teams and prizes. Aside from the program agenda there will be also be a number of opportunities to socialize and exchange ideas.


We welcome participants from a variety of disciplines: science, technology, arts and business, in particular active individuals who are passionate about this topic and are willing to spend a weekend generating ideas, connections, discussions and hackathon innovations. Learn how to get involved here.

What is a Hackathon?

Hackathons bring together experts from adjacent and divergent fields to create disruptive solutions to challenging issues such as traffic congestion, water use and neighborhood crime. Our Hacking Eating Tracking event will creatively attack the need to collect and apply reliable, useful, and ultimately applicable data on eating behaviors. This unique innovation event will combine top international scientists from academia with individuals at the forefront of technology, innovation and creativity.
The hackathon will be a unique opportunity to engage in innovation during the event, not just talk about it.


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