Obesity is associated with many diseases, such as diabetes and insulin resistance, heart diseases, and some cancers. Its first line treatment includes a reduced-energy diet associated with exercise. When following such a program, subjects will lose body weight if their energy balance is negative, i.e. they are submitted to an energy deficit due to an energy intake lower than their energy requirement. Even a small energy deficit will, in the long term, result in an important weight loss. However, overweight patients frequently experience major difficulties in achieving and maintaining a significant weight loss. One reason is that they cannot rely on a sensitive and acute marker to monitor their efforts. In fact, patients and health care workers currently rely on body weight changes which can sometimes only be observed after several months to assess whether the intervention is successful.
This project aims at developing a laser based breath analyser for acetone and other metabolites, to determine, on a day-to-day basis, whether an energy deficit is present. This will provide an immediate assessment of the efficiency of an intervention, and allow early and continuous adjustments of dietary intakes and physical activity. In addition, it will provide a biofeedback so that patients can be encouraged to pursue their efforts.
This technology seeks to provide users with unique information regarding their diet and dietary changes. It expects to enhance the success of weight loss programs and increase adequate nutrition by enhancing the patient’s motivation and compliance. Therefore, this project will significantly contribute to reduce health costs associated with poor nutrition, obesity and metabolic diseases.