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Using Smart-Intake, energy intake (consumables) data are collected in generally free-living conditions with the Remote Food Photography Method (RFPM). When using the RFPM, participants place a reference card next to their food and use a camera in the phone to capture images of their food selection and plate waste in real time. The participant labels the food selection images that are ambiguous, such as foods that do not include a package or brand name, with a brief descriptor (e.g., “fried chicken”), and the images are sent immediately via email to a chosen recipient (to keep you honest about your intake). Users can also add a PLU code for fruits and vegetables, as well as scan a barcode for food items that have a barcode.

With Smart-Intake, users have the option to choose second helpings as a meal type. The accuracy of the food images relies on the ability of users to remember to capture images of their foods and to use a back-up method if necessary.