Novel software to reduce the risk of energy related illnesses

Author: Rossouw, Jacobus Laurence

People often neglect their diets because of the effort required to ensure that they are maintaining a healthy diet. Most people do not know exactly what types of food and the amount they should eat without some guidance. The ideal would be to provide them with an assistant who could supply the required information quickly and reliably when needed. Diabetes and obesity are serious illnesses that are on the increase worldwide. Both these illnesses are related to food consumption and are referred to as energy related illnesses. Human beings derive energy from the food that they consume and thus it is of the utmost importance that they follow a healthy diet. The latter should ensure that the correct amount of energy is obtained and used on a daily basis. At Human-Sim (Pty) Ltd a new method for quantifying the energy available from food has been developed known as the Equivalent Teaspoon Sugar (ets). By using ets a healthy diet can be established for both healthy individuals and those suffering from diabetes or obesity. This study investigates the feasibility of providing an individual with a digital assistant to help with maintaining a healthy diet. The assistant is implemented on a cellular phone platform to ensure the least inconvenience to the user. The study also investigates the efficiency of the ets concept for dietary energy control. The results obtained during this study showed that the dietary assistant was successful. The user acceptance was high and the efficiency of use impressive. Users found it easy and intuitive to relate to the new ets quantification method.