How our system analyzes food cares
First, we create a FoodCare Profile for the user
When a FoodCare Profile is created for a user (either by the consumer or a provider of care) we receive basic anthropometric data (height, weight, age), their self-reported activity level, weight loss goals, health conditions, allergies, diet preferences (vegetarian, vegan) and lifestyle preferences (organic, non-GMO, Kosher, sustainably harvested, local, etc.).
We select relevant clinical dietary guidelines for the user from major health associations and institutes for a variety of chronic diseases (see below), and we configure our system for the users food preferences.
We are frequently adding to the list of cares that our system can process, and we warmly welcome any requests.
Next, we perform energy expenditure calculations
FoodCare uses the Mifflin St. Jeor calculation for daily Estimated Energy Expenditure and an activity factor to determine the user’s energy needs. Moderate to Aggressive weight loss factors can be applied, subtracting 250, 500, 750 or 1000 kcals/day from a user’s daily Estimated Energy Expenditure.
FoodCare is programmed to prevent total daily energy intake from going below 1200 kcals/day for woman or 1500 kcals/day for men despite any weight loss factor chosen. For users that require calorie settings below these thresholds, an attending Registered Dietitian with an active FoodCare Pro account will need to contact FoodCare directly to have the guidelines set manually.
Next we apply the users clinical food cares
If a user has no health conditions selected, the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010) will be applied to their profile and used in the calculation of Nutrition Insights for the user. Please note that the 2015 guidelines will be released soon and FoodCare will update our system for all users after a brief period of open comments by Registered Dietitian members of our community.
If a user has selected a chronic health condition, daily and per meal nutrition guidelines will be provided by an appropriate health association or institute. For example, a user with diabetes will have guidelines provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics applied, while a user with hypertension will have guidelines provided by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) applied. A user with multiple conditions will have a combination of guidelines applied, with the strictest nutrient guidelines taking precedent.
Per meal values are determined by dividing the daily value by 30% per meal, plus a 10% allowance per day for snacks. When we provide snack guidance it is based on two snacks per day, each accounting for 5% of their total daily allowance. In the future we will permit FoodCare Pro users to adjust these allocations to a per meal and per snack basis.
Final note on guidelines: We will model custom guidelines for use in private communities for Health Association customers and members of the FoodCare Research Network (FRN) (performing formal or informal clinical research studies). All other users of FoodCare apps do not have the ability to create dietary guidelines for mass consumer adoption, but data analysis from research studies may be made available to other clinical researchers and users of FoodCare Pro.
Finally, we perform Nutrition Insight™ analysis
Food items are analyzed based on the individual user’s profile and cares. Total kcals and each individual nutrient are analyzed and scored separately. Our scoring system gives the highest score to kcals and nutrients within the recommended range, with progressively lower scoring as they become further and further outside of the recommended range. (See Legend)
To the right you can see that the entire food item is given an overall score based on the totals of the individual nutrient and kcal scores using the same scoring symbols in the legend. Food items containing ingredients to be avoided due to allergies or diet preferences will automatically fail and the user will see a Red X and warning about the item (provided we are already supporting that allergen or care; if you have a special case, please call us so that we can have our data analysts prioritize your clients needs).
To the right you can see "Quick Facts" that provide the consumer with a high-level view of the food item. We will be adding "Added Sugars" in the near future and documentation will be provided here.
The "Avoid Too Much" category is dynamically populated based on the personal food cares of the individual. For example, for most individuals Potassium is in the "Get Enough" category, but this user has presented Chronic Kidney Disease - Stage 4 - Non Serum Potassium, and using the NKF's dietary guidelines the recommended Potassium limit is 600mg per meal.
The "Get Enough" category is also dynamically populated based on the cares of the individual.
"Care Preferences" relate to non-nutrient based considerations such as the source of the food, the cultivation or harvesting methods, allergens and any other care that can be attributed to a food item. If you would like a care to be added please contact us.
Finally, the "Additional Nutritional Facts" section expands and includes numerous additional macro and micro-nutrients, if the user is interested in learning more.
Customizing client guidelines
Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists are able to customize dietary guidelines and food preferences for their clients.
Nutritionists are able to adjust Calories, Carbs, Fat, Protein Sodium and food preferences. Registered Dietitians that have been verified (via their CDR#) are able to customize guidance for all macro and micro nutrients. In certain special cases FoodCare will allow nutritionists full access, please contact us if this applies to you.
Once guidelines are customized, the system will process new Nutrition Insights™ for the client whenever they look at the nutrition of any food item. Please refer to FoodCare Pro™ documentation to learn more details about customizing guidelines.
Please note that once a user is connected to a verified Registered Dietitian and under their care, only that RD can change the users Dietary Guidelines. The FoodCare system will turn off automatic dietary guideline assignment when profile changes are made and we will completely defer to the guidance of the RD. However, the system will continue to automatically process guideline adjustments (for example, based on a user changing their health conditions or disease stages), if they are connected to any other type of healthcare professional, nutritionist, social worker or a professional caregiver.