Newly Published Paper Introduces a Revolutionary Way to Assess, Track Diet

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An article just published in the journal Medical Hypotheses details a novel approach to dietary assessment that allows dietary pattern and quality to be measured in seconds so that diet can be treated as a vital sign. This innovation is at the core of Diet ID, a digital health toolkit designed to measure and manage diet, and personalize nutrition for optimal health.

A paper just published online in the peer-reviewed journal, Medical Hypotheses, introduces a whole new way to assess dietary intake using pattern recognition, rather than the decades-old process of tracking food intake over time, or trying to recall details of foods and quantities consumed over spans of weeks and months. The paper goes on to detail related advances in tracking dietary change without the need for logging foods, and describes a method to personalize nutritional guidance by creating a goal-driven route from personal starting point to goal diet.

The method introduced, called Diet Quality Photo Navigation (DQPN™), is an entirely new approach to dietary assessment, predicated on the human capacity to quickly and intuitively recognize familiar images and patterns. Diet ID™, Inc., the company that created and distributes this patent-pending method, displays images of whole dietary patterns, and asks the user: which looks more like what you typically eat? This method is fast, easy, and demonstrates robust preliminary validation against the industry-standard method (semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire, or FFQ). The “this or that” process is repeated until “best possible fit” is achieved. With this method, a baseline dietary pattern can be identified in less than a minute. The authors of the new paper cite anthropology and psychology studies, as well as the best-selling book “Blink”, by Malcolm Gladwell, to make the case that image-based pattern recognition is a native human aptitude while reliable recollection of details is not.

“This method plays to a native human strength,” said Dr. David L. Katz, lead author of the paper, and founder/CEO of Diet ID, Inc. “In both business and medicine, we say that we only tend to manage what we measure. That implies that we should measure what matters, and as the single leading predictor of chronic disease and mortality risk in America today, diet certainly matters. We have made assessment fast, frictionless, reliable, and economical enough for diet to be treated as the vital sign it deserves to be.”

An Op-Ed in the New York Times in August of 2019 cited diet as the leading cause of premature death in the United States, and called for the inclusion of nutrition in every electronic health record. “This method actually makes that possible,” Katz said.

Diet ID was developed with guidance from world-leading nutrition experts and a team of dietitians. The initial validation study, showing compelling performance versus the FFQ, was run by Dr. Michael Dansinger, Medical Director, Boston Heart Diagnostics, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. A study testing the tool against both the FFQ and blood biomarkers is currently on-going in a population of 100 adults, and the system has already been deployed in a number of federally funded studies in universities around the US.

Co-author Dr. Gail Frank, Professor of Nutrition at California State University at Long Beach, says, “Diet ID allows individuals to personalize their eating pattern. It guides them visually showing how to make small or large changes in the foods they choose to improve quality. This ability promotes a unique sense of control over one’s future health and well-being.”

Diet Quality Photo Navigation is owned by Diet ID, and serves as the foundation for its digital program that delivers a bold advance in diet assessment and behavior change. Diet ID was founded in 2016 to reduce the burdens associated with current dietary assessment methods, while providing a comprehensive data output to measure and manage diet. Diet ID, which has launched with over twenty partners, empowers clients with drop-in, frictionless nutrition tools that finally make health improvements not only possible, but sustainable.

Co-author Dr. Christopher Gardner, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, says, “Currently used methods for analyzing the nutritional content of what we eat and drink were developed decades ago, with few major improvements in that timespan; all current methods are tedious and time consuming. Diet ID captures the biggest and most important pieces of the diet pattern and diet quality puzzle in a fraction of the time and at extremely low cost.”

For more information about Diet ID, visit or email

About Diet ID, Inc: Diet ID™ is a fast-growing digital health SaaS company focused on tackling the problem of poor nutrition in the healthcare and wellness settings. Diet ID’s signature product is the Diet Assessment and Behavior Change Toolkit, software designed to power personalized nutrition.

Katz DL, Rhee LQ, Katz CK, Aronson DL, Frank GC, Gardner CD, Willett WW, Dansinger ML. Dietary assessment can be based on pattern recognition rather than recall. Med Hypotheses. 2020 July; 140:109644.

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Rachna Govani, Chief Operating Officer
Diet ID
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