Bitesome Tutorial and FAQ

Watch the video to learn the basics of entering a meal into the Bitesome App.


  1. I’m enrolled in a research study that asked me to use Bitesome. How should I use the app?

    Because specific studies may have specific needs, it’s best that you follow the instructions provided by the researchers. If you have specific questions about how to use the app during the study, it’s best to contact the research team and ask.

  2. Explain meals and food items?

    In Bitesome, meals correspond to a particular time, place and situation in which you eat.  For instance:  “Breakfast with Mary” is an example of a meal.

    Meals can include multiple food items. For example, your meal with Mary, you could add 3 food items, like coffee, eggs, and toast.

  3. Do I need to type meal details?

    No, you don’t.  Bitesome is very flexible, and allows you to skip steps if they’re cumbersome.  You can simply move on to adding food itemseal details.

  4. Do I need to search the USDA database? — it doesn’t have what I want.

    No, you don’t.  On the food item search page, you can select, the “recent” tab to select from previously entered items.  Or, you can press the “new” tab and enter the name of a new item.  Note, if entering a new item, you won’t see nutritional info for new items.

    Note, we recognize the limitations of the USDA database, and will likely change the database in a future version of the app.

  5. Do I need to take a picture of everything I eat?

    Nope.  You can skip it if you want. But, pictures provide a helpful visual reference of the types of food you eat.  The photos can also be used in research studies to confirm the food item description and nutrition content match what it looks like you’ve actually eaten.

  6. Can I add items to meals as they’re served, or add missing items later?

    Yes, you can.  Press the history tab, to see the list of your meals.  Swipe left on the meal you want to add a food item to, and you’ll see a button to allow you add to the meal. In order to add items later though, there must be an existing meal to add to, so please try to add a placeholder for the meal when/where you have it, and then you can add items later when you have more time.

  7. Can I delete meals and food items?

    Yes, you can.  Press the history tab, to see the list of your meals.  Swipe left on the meal you want to delete.

    If you just want to delete one of the food items in a meal, select the food item from the history page, to see the details of the food item.  At the bottom of the details page, you’ll find a delete button.

  8. Why can’t I see a limited amount of history?

    Bitesome only shows your most recent 30 meals.  We’ve designed the app to allow you to focus on the most recent aspects of your diet.  This may change in future version of Bitesome.

  9. Why does Bitesome always use my GPS?

    Bitesome tracks your mobility patterns so that researchers can relate the location of your meals to the food environments you visit. Previous research by our group suggests that food environment quality affects your diet, and the diversity of your food environments also affects how you eat. If you don’t want to be tracked, you can go to the Settings app on your iPhone or Android device and turn off GPS/location for Bitesome.

  10. Why doesn’t Bitesome have/do __________? — my other diet-tracking app has this.

    Bitesome was developed by a small team of public health nutrition researchers. We’re not a big company.  We’re not even a small startup company. While we recognize that the features of Bitesome are fairly limited, we designed the app to facilitate a number of emerging nutritional science studies.  We’ll continue to improve the app over time.

  11. Why should I use Bitesome?

    One of the main benefits of using Bitesome, is that as a user, you may be contacted to participate in one of the research studies that use the app. In these studies, you’ll probably be learn much more about your diet, behavior, and health.