Mi Volumetrics: Smarter Diet Composition through Optimization
Department of Information Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, 1411 Cunningham Road, Room GW2005 Monterey, CA, USA
- Corresponding Author:
- Abdel-Hamid TK
Department of Information Sciences
Naval Postgraduate School
1411 Cunningham Road, Room GW2005, Monterey, CA, USA
Tel: (831) 656-2221
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: October 06, 2015; Accepted date: May 11, 2016; Published date: May 18, 2016
Citation: Abdel-Hamid TK (2016) Mi Volumetrics Smarter Diet Composition through Optimization. J Health Med Informat 7:228. doi: 10.4172/2157-7420.1000228
Copyright: © 2016 Abdel-Hamid TK. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Poor dietary adherence has been implicated as a primary contributor to the (stubbornly) low success rates of long-term weight loss maintenance. In this paper, I argue that smarter diet composition (through computer-supported optimization) could help increase the chances of long-term success (and a healthy outcome) by allowing dieters customize meal plans that conform to personal preferences and needs (e.g., for things like taste, affordability, fat content).
Because of the large variety of food choices available and multiple/conflicting nutritional tradeoffs, tailoring meal composition is both combinatorially and computationally complex (where doing the obvious thing does not necessarily produce the obvious, desired outcome). Luckily, that’s precisely where computer tools can help allowing us to combine the strengths of the dieter with the strengths of the computer. The dieter specifies alternatives, preferences and requirements and the computer then sifts through the messy maze of possibilities/tradeoffs to pick the optimal choice.
Mi Volumetrics a decision-support tool to help lay dieters optimize meal planning—combines three resources: a layfriendly user interface, an extensive database of food options to select from and an optimization engine for customizing meal selection. By optimizing is meant designing meals that are: (1) Satiating to the individual dieter; (2) Include only food items that she/he likes (or can afford); and (3) Meet any other personal health requirements (e.g., a ceiling on the amount of calories from fat). To make the Mi Volumetrics tool widely accessible it is built in Microsoft Excel --- a software package that most people have access to and experience using.