According to recent U.S. dietary guidelines, a majority of Americans, while eating energy-rich diets, are deficient in multiple nutrients we need to stay healthy, such as (but not limited to) calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and various vitamins. A study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found 31 percent of the U.S. population is at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia (Kresser Institute). An energy rich, nutrient poor diet is a risk factor for health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. For the average person, keeping track of whether they've met every recommended daily intake is difficult and taxing. Making this process easier is the first step in helping us
What it does
The program allows a user to input what they've eaten so far in a day, and uses that information to calculate which nutritional needs have been met, and if they haven't, by how much (this calculation is based off of the recommended daily value of various nutrients, such as Vitamin C or iron). This program also suggests foods that the user can eat to met these daily targets.
How we built it
We built the back-end part of NutriCalc on Atom with C++ and drew up the storyboards on procreate on the iPad. We started the Hackathon by brainstorming ideas and organizing what we wanted out of our selected idea. We all settled on NutriCalc and begun researching both back-end and front-end developments which the program languages we we already all familiar with. Despite a ton of research on possible front-end developers, we were unable to finalize the front-end part of NutriCalc but succeeded in the back-end and the storyboards for a possible front-end.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into issues finding a suitable platform to link the back-end to front end, and had to make tough decisions about what elements of this program that we wanted to prioritize developing during the Hackathon due to our members' unfamiliarity of front end development.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of developing a good framework for the nutritional calculator; although it doesn't currently use a lot of data, we have built the infrastructure to allow the user to add a item they've eaten (as long as it's in our recorded list of foods) and calculate how much more they need to consume to meet their recommended daily amount, and recommend ways to reach that goal.
What we learned
We learned a lot about the product ideation through the process of narrowing down what our program would do and what we can offer that's different from what's already out there. We also learned about the importance of front and back end development, collaboration, delegation, and how to adapt when initial plans didn't pan out.
What's next for NutriCalc
The next thing some of us plan to do for NutriCalc is the expand the information base of possible food products as well as potentially develop the front end part of the app so we can see it working on mobile! We currently only have about 10 items in the data base (very small and not too broad) so hopefully an outer food data base would allow our app to reach a bigger function than it currently has. We hope to integrate a lot more data that the program can use to calculate the daily nutritional values the user hasn't met, and we want to develop the front end to make it more user friendly. We also want to allow the user to create their own profile based on their personal nutritional needs; for example, the program is based off of an average American adult, but we would like to differentiate users by gender or age group.