Introduction

The Sussex Ingestion Pattern Monitor (SIPM) system facilitates detailed collection and analysis of human food intake behaviour (eating). This system combines bespoke software with a concealed weighing system to seamlessly monitor intake volume in parallel with measures of appetite, mood and taste.

SIPM offers universities, the food industry, pharmaceutical industry and hospitals an exciting opportunity to research the fundamental nature of human eating both in normal and clinical populations. Data collected using SIPM may allow the user novel insights into human eating that could lead to new approaches to treatment of problem eating.

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Features

SIPM is a highly flexible research tool for assessing human appetite and ingestion.

The main types of data that SIPM can collect are:

  • Intake data both during a continuous (uninterrupted meal) and as a series of defined eating bouts
  • Eating rate and bite size
  • Rated appetite before, during and after meals
  • Ratings of mood and general well-being
  • Evaluations of the sensory and hedonic qualities of any number of foods
  • Choice of visual analogue or general Labelled magnitude Scale rating formats

A key feature of the latest version is the Experiment Builder: this highly flexible tool allows the user to design and implement an almost limitless set of combinations of the core SIPM procedures.

Examples of the types of studies that can be implemented using SIPM include:

  • Cumulative intake curves
  • The relationship between rated appetite and intake within a meal (including assessing the appetizer effect)
  • Sensory-specific satiety
  • Effects of nutrient preloads
  • Satiating effects of different foods
  • Hedonic and sensory evaluations of different stimuli (foods, drinks, tastants, etc)
  • Assessment of learned preference and intake
  • Learned satiation
  • Updated version of SIPM released in November 2012. - The latest version of SIPM 2.0 incorporating Experiment Builder was released in November 2012. This version is compatible with the latest release of Windows 7, solving issues with COM port compatibility arising from a recent Windows update.
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  • Spoken instruction option in SIPM - An enhancement to the SIPM 2.0 software was released in December 2009. This enhancement allowed users to incorporate spoken instructions into their experiments, as well as improving the way SIPM dealt with timing and reducing the risk of data loss through participants inadvertently double-clicking. The spoken instruction enhancement has particular value for studies where people are required to pause to make ratings during a meal: even with an alert sound, occasionally participants may not attend to the screen, whereas a spoken instruction in the experimenter's own words and voice is more likely to command attention.
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  • SIPM news - Data collected using SIPM are written up in Heston Blumenthal's "The Big Fat Duck Cookbook".
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