As our world accelerates at an unprecedented rate and we work towards high-speed, maximum productivity lives, it becomes easier to lose sight of the importance of prioritizing our health. For some people, being caught up in this fast-paced routine means sacrificing healthy eating, nutritious home-cooked food, and unprocessed ingredients. Healthy eating is simply not accessible for people who do not have the necessary income or time for it. And that’s where fast food comes in. It’s pre-prepared, convenient, inexpensive but hardly an ideal option. Is that to say, that those who are pushed to choose fast food do not deserve access to healthy eating? Our program’s idea came to us as a way of bridging the lack of accessibility when it comes to health and wellness. The health food market is saturated with unrealistic diets and recipes and ideas; not everyone can give up sugar or go vegan or meal prep every 3 days. So if you have no other choice but to consume fast food, there needs to be a way for you to determine that what you do put in your body is the best possible choice for it.

What it does

Our program uses datasets on fast-food restaurants’ menus to suggest healthier menu items to the user. For our demo, we ask the user to choose a restaurant, a food category, a menu item from the food category such as breakfast, salads, desserts, beverages, and finally define a specific health goal. This goal could be to reduce calorie, sodium, sugar, fat, carb, cholesterol intake or increase protein intake. We’ve used the McDonald’s menu for this specific demo. In the end, the menu item chosen by the user is checked against all other items in its category and the best option, according to the selected health goal, is recommended to the user.

How we built it

The entire program is written in Java. We imported a McDonald's Menu database and used GUI, HashMap, List, Method, Loop, and Selection.

Challenges we ran into

Difficulty working with new algorithms and integrating the code.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Successfully creating a functional program and adding improvements.

What we learned

Reading .csv into a HashMap, using HashMap, and adding GUI components.

What's next

Future enhancements for the program would include creating a website, using data for various fast-food restaurants, using location services to first recommend a nearby inexpensive restaurant best suited to their health goal before moving on to healthy menu options, and providing health resources (including accessible ingredients, recipes, and dining options) for the user’s goal on our website.

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