Graphical GDAs

June 29, 2009 by
Filed under: Education Matters 

Here’s a day of results from last week’s food diary. I’m pretty sure that Edward Tufte wouldn’t approve of the indulgent use of colour and needless ink, but I like it. Each column shows my percentage Guideline Daily Allowance (GDA) – for Energy, Protein, Carbs, Sugar, Fat, Saturates, Fibre and Salt. The closer the column’s height to 100%, the better. Within each column, the different colours show the contribution made by each of the items of food I had that day. You can click on the picture for a bigger version.

Wednesday's Diet

Wednesday's Diet

Let me know if you think of any other ways of displaying the data.

The main result from my diary is that I’m really variable – most days I eat less than I should, but some much more. The other thing is I don’t get anywhere near my 5 a day.

It was rather fun to do, but it takes a lot of time to keep a detailed diary. One of the advantages of using a phone application to keep track might be that it could take the pain out of entering the nutrition data from each packet. I thought at first it might be able to do this by taking a photograph of the nutrition data and automatically recognising the numbers, but there are still so many different formats for nutrition tables that I’m not sure that’s really viable. Perhaps using a phone’s camera to scan the barcode might work better? If this could be linked to the nutrition data provided by websites like The Daily Plate, then you’ve got the beginning of an easier way to keep track.