Wearable sensors for the assessment of physical and eating behaviours (WEALTH)


Healthy dietary behaviours (DB) and physical behaviours (PB) (including physical activity, sedentary and sleep behaviours) are linked to reduced rates of non-communicable disease and obesity. Combined measurement of the effects of PB on dietary or even eating behaviours (EB) is currently problematic. WEALTH will develop a new methodology, linking advanced processing of accelerometer data with Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMA) questioning PB and EB and their context. This will permit indepth understanding of how and when EB are related to specific PB. In parallel, WEALTH will maximise the use of data collected from multiple commonly available measurement devices spanning accelerometers to commercially available wearables by standardising data analysis and interpretation. WEALTH will develop a web-based sensor data processing infrastructure to provide a measurement system predicting PB and EB from passive sensor data establishing the use of commercially available wearables for accurate population surveillance. Work packages (WPs) include WP1, where EMA protocols linked to sensor triggers (FitBit) will be developed in a small pilot adult population in four centres in Europe. In WP2 up to 150 adults in each of four centres, will wear four devices (FitBit, AcivPAL, LifeQ wearable and ActiGraph GT3X) continuously and perform a 2-hour labbased structured and monitored protocol of activities of daily living (ADL) prior to a seven-day free-living survey. All participants will receive EMA requests to record their current ADL, their location and contextspecific
behaviour information; some of the requests will be triggered by PBs detected by the FitBit
device. Data collected in WP2 will be used in WP3 to train and develop ML methods from raw sensor
data to predict PB and EB. In WP4 data from all the participants will be pooled and used to demonstrate the feasibility of the combined PB/EB assessment methods. In WP5 the methods and procedures will be curated in an open-access toolbox, and findings will be disseminated through publication, social media and symposia. By ist end WEALTH will deliver and a simple to use and openly accessible PB and EB measurement system that will be of high value to future public health surveillance.

The project is funded within the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative "A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life" (JPI HDHL).

Funding period

Begin:   May 2022
End:   April 2025


  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Dr. oec. troph. Antje Hebestreit

Application (international)

Ass. Prof. Alan Donnelly, University of Limerick, Ireland