Development of Dynamic Weekly Food Timetable Generator Using Genetic Algorithm


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1.0 Background to the Study

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Information Technology has cut across many disciplines and cause great improvement. Such discipline includes Science, Social Science, Art and Engineering. As computer technology evolve, there has been a great improvement on how we can perform the day to day activities with aid of computer system. And over time human has been able to convert their daily activities to computer programs which can help them do their job better and faster with the aid of Algorithms and these algorithms are implementable with programming languages. Because of the increase in the number of personal computer owner there has been a vast number of desktop standalone applications that is designed to help the user perform their task easily and more efficiently. This advancement has also been improved in the area of scheduling of task which can be implored in the scheduling of human food consumption (Edman et al., 2017).

Nutrition is now the major subject of discussion in almost 3 out 10 conversations in the places of work, at social gathering, and in the media (Bindu et al, 2013). This is a time when the prevention of disease and how to be responsible for one’s health is important. Nutritional education is very important. Throughout history, the effect of food on the body has been studied and written about, but trial and error is the basis of the most information gathered, many superstitions as regards the magical power of food for healings also evolves. The composition of food need to be studied so as to know which food perform a particular function in the human body, this bring about the name Food Nutrition. Food nutrition as a study is relatively new, it’s developed only after Chemistry and Physiology has gained their ground, its growth begins with the end of World War II. Like all other science subject, food nutrition is a recommended discipline (Manuel et al, 2016). The popular saying “You are what you eat” is now more than just a phrase to make us eat well. It’s now a sincere truth.

Since the earliest time to the Industrial age, people have recognized the importance of some certain foods. And now that we are in the computer age, the importance of nutrition is so well recognized and are fully supported by scientific evidence. With the progress in the development of science and technology there is hope that we can expand our life span by using technological advancement to prevent the surfacing number of chronic diseases related to nutrition, food and lifestyle. Because there is a prove that the link between good nutrition and prevention of diseases is similarly strong (Ghand et al, 2014). Though there are still limitations to the information about the foods available for human consumption. With the limitations, the choice of food to eat is a very personal one.

In Nigeria as a country where the consumer has a little knowledge of nutrition and those that did has limited resources available for making choices of food (Oluwakemi et al, 2014). A number of guidelines have been developed already, some of which are Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) (Jones & Ballet, 2013). And the Four Basic Food Groups (BFFG) (Micheal et al, 2016). The RDAs, is for planning and assessing dietary intake, which was defined by the American National Research Council for food and Nutrition Board. The RDAs determine the level of intake of the essential nutrient nutrients considered to meet the nutritional needs and practically the needs of all healthy persons and also remove foods that has high level of calories but little nutrient. So also the classes of food are sub-classified into the Basic four food groups system. Which includes, the milk group, the meat group, the fruit and vegetables group and the bread and cereals group.

Various kinds of diseases can prompt up due to lack of nutrition or other deficiency which can be disastrous depending on the types, which may include goiter, which is majorly cause by the deficiency of iodine in human diet. There are other thyroid enlargements that are not associated to iodine deficiency though, but this will be only 5 per cent or less in goiter incidence in a region where the intake exceeds 100 micro grams of iodine daily. The key to balance diet are grains, vegetable and fruit needed in greater proportion than foods from meat, fish, beans and milk groups. The BFFG system classification, each food of such classification provides certain nutritional benefits, so foods from each of this classification should be consume daily (Zaccheo, et al, 2016).

There are various energy requirements for both Adults and Children, male and female. These requirements are as follows: Adult’s male needs 2,200 to 2,400 calories per day, while female needs 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day. Children male aged 9 to 13 needs 1,800 calories per day, female aged 9 to 13 needs 1,600 calories per day. Children may need 400 calories or more each day if they are moderately active, very active boys and girls may even need more. (Smith, et al, 2007).

This project will serve as a decision support system to aid user for a choice of food at particular moment. It will consider the calories content of each food and the nutritive values to generate a timetable that will arrange the food according to the wright proportion considering the classes they belong. To achieve a balanced diet, the six classes of food which includes: Carbohydrate, Protein, Mineral & salt, Water, Vitamin, and Fat & Oil will be the fundamental consideration in the time table generation

1.1 Statement of Problem

Since prehistory, human beings have always struggled and fought for food to eat, because of the dramatic increase in the sources of food and the overtime changes. Food has now been classified under six classes. Under each of the six classes there are numerous foods of which some has a low nutrient and high calories and in some other the reverse is the case. The major concern is how to know what to eat and when to eat them in the right proportion in other to eat healthy (Siregar et al, 2016). In this study solution will be proffer to the decision of what to eat by considering the six classes of food to dynamically generate a timetable on user request which allocate a particular meal to a particular time of the day.

1.2 Aim and Objectives

The aim of this project is to develop a dynamic timetable generator for weekly balance diet using Genetic Algorithm. The aim can be achieved with the following objectives to:

i. design a dynamic timetable generator for weekly balance diet.

ii. implement the dynamic timetable generator for weekly balance diet.

iii. test the dynamic timetable generator for weekly balance diet.

1.3 Justification of the Study

The traditional way of making a choice of meal to cook and for such choice made to be nutritious is of great importance to human health; the system will address this problem by automatically generate a dynamic weekly food timetable for its user on demand. This system will employ Genetic Algorithm method for optimization and selection of the best food that is suitable for that period considering the six classes of food. Genetic Algorithm is an adaptive heuristic search based method

Which basically use the population of genetic. The basic concept of the genetic algorithm is that a set of chromosome is selected from the problem dataset randomly and they are subjected to genetic operator at each generation, each chromosome has a fitness value and a set of “best fit value”, after the cross over and mutation process the chromosome with the best fit value is selected. This method produces optimum solution (Hakan, et al, 2007).

1.4 Scope and Limitation of the study

This project is focused on the optimization of Food Timetable using Genetic Algorithm. The major problem considered are; minimize the amount of calories intake and maximize the nutrient derive from each meal taken. It will also help in making the choice of what to eat in the correct proportion considering the calorie content of each food and combining the appropriate class of food.

The constraint considered in the project does not include the user interest of what to eat at a particular time and also the user food consumption pattern.

1.5 Significance of Study

Poor nutrition can mar our daily health and wellbeing and drastically reduce our ability to leave an enjoyable and active life. In a short-run poor nutrition contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, it also contributes to the risk of developing some diseases and some health problems which includes, obesity, high blood pressure, tooth decay, type-2 diabetes, etc.

The food timetable generator system will be of great benefit to everyone who use the system in the following ways: the food time table will cater for not knowing the correct meal to eat at a particular time, which will be of benefit to those who did not have appetite for any meal at a particular time. Because of the surfacing of many diseases or health related issues which are attached to wrong choice of meal being combined. This work will help the user to make the wright choice of meal for a particular period of time i.e. meal timetable. These choices will be made based on the appropriate combination of the six classes of food, moderate the calories content and higher nutritive value.

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