Obesity is a global health problem with wide-reaching economic and social implications. Nutrition surveillance systems are essential to understanding and addressing poor dietary practices. However, diets are incredibly diverse across populations and an accurate diagnosis of individualized nutritional issues is challenging. Current tools used in dietary assessment are cumbersome for users, and are only able to provide approximations of dietary information. Given the need for technological innovation, this paper reviews various novel digital methods for food volume estimation and explores the potential for adopting such technology in the Southeast Asian context. We discuss the current approaches to dietary assessment, as well as the potential opportunities that digital health can offer to the field. Recent advances in optics, computer vision and deep learning show promise in advancing the field of quantitative dietary assessment. The ease of access to the internet and the availability of smartphones with integrated cameras have expanded the toolsets available, and there is potential for automated food volume estimation to be developed and integrated as part of a digital dietary assessment tool. Such a tool may enable public health institutions to be able to gather an effective nutritional insight and combat the rising rates of obesity in the region.