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SNAPMe: A Benchmark Dataset of Food Photos with Food Records for Evaluation of Computer Vision Algorithms in the Context of Dietary Assessment

Sample meal image with sizing marker

Photo-based dietary assessment methods are becoming more feasible as artificial intelligence methods improve. However, advancement of these methods to the level usable in nutrition studies has been hindered by the lack of a dataset against which to benchmark algorithm performance. We conducted the Surveying Nutrient Assessment with Photographs of Meals (SNAPMe) Study (ClinicalTrials ID: NCT05008653 ) to develop a benchmark dataset of food photographs paired with traditional food records. Participants were recruited nationally and completed enrollment meetings via web-based video conferencing. By the end of the study, 90 participants had completed all three days of data collection; 95 participants completed at least one study day. Participants uploaded and annotated their meal photos using a mobile phone app called Bitesnap and completed food records using the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24®) on the same day. A sizing marker with black and white boxes of known size were included in meal photos. Participants included photos “before” and “after” eating non-packaged and multi-serving packaged meals, as well as photos of the “front” package label and “ingredient” label for single-serving packaged foods. In total, the SNAPMe Database (DB) contains 3,311 unique food photos linked with 275 ASA24 food records from 95 participants who photographed all foods consumed and recorded food records in parallel for up to 3 study days each for a total of 275 diet days. The SNAPMe DB includes 1,475 “before” photos of non-packaged foods, 1,436 “after” photos of non-packaged foods, 203 “front” photos of packaged foods, and 196 “ingredient” labels of packaged foods. Each line item of each ASA24 food record is linked to the relevant photo. These data will be transformative for the improvement of artificial intelligence algorithms for the adoption of photo-based dietary assessment in nutrition research.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area
POLYGON ((232.91826725006 48.88023962065, 240.9441447258 30.271030292887, 284.02366161346 24.469142785384, 295.03037452698 45.509798058907, 263.05728435516 49.161101815285))
Ag Data Commons
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
United States
Temporal Coverage
September 1, 2021 to January 29, 2022
Contact Name
Lemay, Danielle
Contact Email
Public Access Level