Healthy hankerings: Motivating adolescents to combat obesity with a mobile application

Farzana Rahman, Paul Henninger, David Kegley, Keegan Sullivan, James Yoo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Obesity has become a major public health issue in most countries around the world. In addition, adolescent obesity is increasing in an alarming rate all over the world. Many attempts have been made to address this issue that ranges from doing exercise to following a diet plan to playing games. While the existence of the above works indicates the past and ongoing efforts to combat adolescent obesity, they are clearly not enough since it is still rising. Researchers have found that adolescent obesity controlling has a lot to do with combating unhealthy cravings that needs strong will power and motivation at such an age. Often, young people and their caregiver struggle to find healthy and nutritious recipes that would fulfill the craving of young people. In order to motivate unfit adolescents towards healthy eating, our research tries to provide them with alternative tasty yet healthier food options using a mobile application. In this paper, we present the design and development details of a mobile application, Healthy Hankerings, which has the potential to help deal with adolescent obesity by motivating its users to choose a healthier food option when they have craving for unhealthy or junk food. To find a healthy recipe, the application uses a recognition algorithm, a decision tree based learning algorithm that considers user’s meal intake history and current cravings. To evaluate our application, we also present the usability study of the prototype in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction. Theories, Methods, and Human Issues - 20th International Conference, HCI International 2018, Proceedings
EditorsMasaaki Kurosu
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319912431
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI 2018 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Jul 15 2018Jul 20 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10902 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference20th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas


  • Decision tree
  • Healthcare
  • Mobile application
  • Obesity
  • Yummly database

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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