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TOPIC: Inaccurate database items...

 
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October 9, 2012 9:33 AM
I usually double check things. I have found lots of inaccurate items as well. Did you know tea has no calories? I didn't either!

So I double check them, and if they don't match up I edit the item and then note that I corrected the values. I think this is the best you can do. I don't know if it changes the values in the database, but in "my foods" it is correct.
  10841406
October 9, 2012 9:52 AM
QUOTE:

What's up with a cup of broccoli? What does that even mean? How can one banana always be 110 cals when they are all different sizes?

The past few days, I did have things from a package or can, and it is very obvious, and yet people entered the wrong values. I think I figured one of them out, they were entering what they ate, not a single serving. So, for a can of soup, they ate the whole can, so they were doubling all the value, rather than entering a serving. It's things like that that screw up the database and it drives me insane, especially for things that come Ina clearly marked package and they are the same everywhere.


Given your word choice, it seems you're not from the US. A cup is a unit of measure that is typically used in US recipes (for better or worse).

Additionally, packaged items aren't the same everywhere when you're dealing with products that are sold both in the US and Europe (and Canada, and (insert country/region here)), due to the differences in ingredients used. Usually, the differences lie in things like colors (red dye 40 vs beet juice), but sometimes, it's sweeteners or other ingredients that are allowed in one country, but not in another.

Consider the following ingredient lists for Strawberry Nutrigrain cereal bars:

Europe:
QUOTE:
Cereals (32%)(Wheat Flour, Oat Flour{11%}, Wholegrain Barley{1.5%}), Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Sugar, Fructose, Strawberry Puree From Concentrate (7.5%), Humectant (Glycerol), Vegetable Oil, Maltodextrin, Modified Starch, Dextrose, Stabilisers (Sodium Alginate, Methyl Cellulose, Xanthan Gum), Calcium Carbonate, Skimmed Milk Powder, Salt, Colours(Anthocyanins, Paprika Extract), Citric Acid, Natural Strawberry Flavouring with other Natural Flavourings, Calcium Phosphate, Raising Agent (Potassium Hydrogen Carbonate), Emulsifier (Sunflower Lecithin), Malic Acid, Niacin, Iron, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12.
(Source: http://www.kelloggs.co.uk/products/nutrigrain/Bar/nutri_grain_soft_and_fruity_strawberry.aspx )

US:
QUOTE:
CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN AND/OR CANOLA OIL, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, DEXTROSE, FRUCTOSE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FILLING: INVERT SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, STRAWBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, SODIUM ALGINATE, CITRIC ACID, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, METHYLCELLULOSE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, MALIC ACID, RED 40.
(Source: http://www.nutrigrain.com/product-detail.aspx?product=349 apologies for the all-caps, yell at Kellogg)

This product happens to be the same calories per serving, but that's not always the case, due to the differences in the ingredients, but I'm sure you can see the differences between the two, even though they're technically the same product.

Also, it can be due to labelling requirements that vary by country. In the US, anything under something like 5 calories per serving can be considered 0 calories. Likewise, the threshold for "0" for other nutrients is higher in the US than in Europe in most cases.
Edited by Dragonwolf On October 9, 2012 9:54 AM
October 9, 2012 10:19 AM
QUOTE:

Did you know tea has no calories? I didn't either!

It has less than 5 calories, so according to US food labeling rules it can be counted as zero.
October 9, 2012 10:24 AM
QUOTE:

What's up with a cup of broccoli? What does that even mean?


It means the amount of broccoli that will fit in a standard measuring cup, without packing or smushing it in. I'm surprised this concept is so difficult for people.

QUOTE:

How can one banana always be 110 cals when they are all different sizes?

What do you want it to do, give you a randomly generated value each time? It has options for 5 different sizes of bananas, all with different calorie counts, as well as an option for grams. If you can't guess the size OR weigh it, I really don't know what you want from the program. It's not psychic.

Complaints like this just highlight how frivolous and easily solvable most of the "problems" with the site are.
October 9, 2012 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:



This option is available. See My Foods.


I'm not seeing it.... anyone else??
Edited by jessalleyne On October 9, 2012 10:30 AM
  26506773
October 9, 2012 10:28 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:


What's up with a cup of broccoli? What does that even mean?


Are you not in the US? That's a unit of measurement!

Surprisingly not everyone IS in the US. There's a pretty good British contingent that use the MFP database.

That being said, when I was last in the US I popped along jauntily to Crate and Barrell and bought myself a set of measuring cups in various denominations, as I love the range of recipes on allrecipes.com and it comes in handy for US recipes.
Edited by rfsatar On October 9, 2012 10:29 AM
  26587270
October 9, 2012 10:28 AM
I just logged Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon, took four tries to get one that was accurate...smdh
  21355602
October 9, 2012 10:29 AM
QUOTE:

When I used SparkPeople there was an option to choose whether you wanted to see entries from other users or not. I'd rather not and just use mine and the official database, personally. I'd love to see that option here.


I really wish there was this option!
  1689510
October 9, 2012 10:31 AM
I'm happy to double check everything that I'm entering, because stuff like the user-added database keeps this thing free. When I was doing WW, they had a pretty good database... But I was constantly running up against things they didn't have. It seemed like they had deals with some brands and not others, etc.

I like free, so I'm willing to do a little extra work.
October 9, 2012 10:36 AM
The only thing I wish....

I wish there was a box to check "search only MFP database" vs user supplied info for things like veggies/meats/etc.

Oh wait, 2 things... I wish there were a measurement conversion thing to convert everything to eaither grams or ounces, but I realsize that wouldn't actually work.....

So maybe we could have the option of not searching other peoples entries?
October 9, 2012 11:58 AM
How about the option of dragging a food to "My Foods" so that you may use the same one each time? I have the same problem with brown rice. I seem to have to use a different one each time I log it.

On the other hand, I love the ability to scan the bar codes with my phone. makes it a lot easier. If only the phone dabase and the one on the PC would sync....
Edited by DaddyOtho On October 9, 2012 12:00 PM
October 9, 2012 12:47 PM
So I did a little poking around. Currently, you can make suggested changes by following these steps:

- Search for a food and select one.
- Click on "Nutritional Info" on the right side. (Directly above it will show how many confirmations or whatnot the entry has.)
- On the right side of the "Nutritional Info" are three buttons under "Is this data accurate?": Yes, no, or I don't know.

So there already is a reporting feature. It's just not very robust and doesn't give you the option of linking multiple identical entries.
  28820410
October 9, 2012 10:43 PM
QUOTE:
Unfortunately, the MFP creators have chosen the % option, so even though I know the nutritional content, I can't add the micronutrient because I can't convert it to a percentage of RNI, because that is entirely dependant on age, sex and weight.
The other problem is, it's a user generated database, and most people don't have the information of micronutrient content of foods available.


While I agree the RNI (RDA) could vary based on age, sex and weight the % of DV as shown in your food diary is as per the US labeling requirements (MFP is based in the US) which means it's based on the "typical 2000 calorie a day diet" so that you can grab brand X Raisin Bran and brand Y Raisin Bran and see how they compare nutritionally.

as per
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/help/faq/336-what-units-of-measure-are-used-for-the-various-nutrients which states
QUOTE:


Tracked as Percentage of Daily Value (%DV) - based on a 2,000 calorie diet (per standard US food labeling)
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium
Iron
  3335912
October 9, 2012 11:06 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:
Unfortunately, the MFP creators have chosen the % option, so even though I know the nutritional content, I can't add the micronutrient because I can't convert it to a percentage of RNI, because that is entirely dependant on age, sex and weight.
The other problem is, it's a user generated database, and most people don't have the information of micronutrient content of foods available.


While I agree the RNI (RDA) could vary based on age, sex and weight the % of DV as shown in your food diary is as per the US labeling requirements (MFP is based in the US) which means it's based on the "typical 2000 calorie a day diet" so that you can grab brand X Raisin Bran and brand Y Raisin Bran and see how they compare nutritionally.

as per
http://www.myfitnesspal.com/help/faq/336-what-units-of-measure-are-used-for-the-various-nutrients which states
QUOTE:


Tracked as Percentage of Daily Value (%DV) - based on a 2,000 calorie diet (per standard US food labeling)
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium
Iron



There are threads where the creators have been asked the mg value of these, and we still get quoted this loop.
Without knowing the mg/% value they are using for each nutrient, I cannot add the micronutrient value of foods in the database, regardless of how useful would be to users.
  9711248
October 9, 2012 11:16 PM
Tracked as Percentage of Daily Value (%DV) - based on a 2,000 calorie diet (per standard US food labeling)

Find out what the US labeling requirement is since 100% of the DV is whatever mg you would get for that which with a quick google search suggests

Experts advise adult consumers to consume adequate amounts of calcium, that is, 1,000mg or 100%DV in a daily 2,000 calorie diet. This advice is often given in milligrams (mg), but the Nutrition Facts label only lists a %DV for calcium.

but since you weren't talking of calcium specifically....
there's nothing circular about being directed to "where the info comes from" just about being able to FIND the requirements

http://www.netrition.com/rdi_page.html
Vitamin A International Unit (IU) 5000
Vitamin C milligrams (mg) 60
Calcium milligrams (mg) 1000
Iron milligrams (mg) 18

there's the 4 food companies are "required" to include on their labels, and the 4 that MFP opted to have trackable.


and you SHOULD be able to add the %DV for the micronutrient such as iron if you're taking it from a nutrition label as it's expressed as a %DV as required on nutrition labels. If you're getting your info from somewhere else then that would be "frustrating". All food labels are supposed to express the %DV based on that "theoretical standard 2000 calorie diet" for the US anyway.
Edited by Pandorian On October 9, 2012 11:18 PM
  3335912
October 10, 2012 12:25 AM
The food database is created mostly by users, some may choose not to put some info in there. You can create a food yourself and choose not to share it with other members, this might be helpful if you are tracking net cals for instance. Any food you create can be found in your "My Foods" section by clicking the Food tab and then the My Food tab. If an item isnt correct, you can either edit it, or create a new one. For items that are not packaged, your best bet is to go to a legitimate website to check nutrition info, I use the USDA nutrition database. Also, any item with a * next to it, was submitted by another member, if it DOESNT have an asterisk next to it, that means its an MFP entry or your own, the more confirmations an entry has, the more likely the information is correct.

All the complaints listed in this thread can be easily solved if you research and learn to navigate the site, which btw is a FREE site.
Edited by BR3ANDA On October 10, 2012 12:33 AM
  24021360
October 10, 2012 12:36 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:



This option is available. See My Foods.


I'm not seeing it.... anyone else??


Did you look for it? Click the FOOD tab at the top of the page, then look on the darker blue bar, you will see "Food Diary", "Database", and "My Foods", any food YOU have entered will show up in there.
Edited by BR3ANDA On October 10, 2012 12:40 AM
  24021360
October 10, 2012 2:55 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:

QUOTE:



This option is available. See My Foods.


I'm not seeing it.... anyone else??


Did you look for it? Click the FOOD tab at the top of the page, then look on the darker blue bar, you will see "Food Diary", "Database", and "My Foods", any food YOU have entered will show up in there.


Thanks, I couldn't think of a polite answer.
  9711248
October 10, 2012 3:12 AM
QUOTE:

Tracked as Percentage of Daily Value (%DV) - based on a 2,000 calorie diet (per standard US food labeling)

Find out what the US labeling requirement is since 100% of the DV is whatever mg you would get for that which with a quick google search suggests

Experts advise adult consumers to consume adequate amounts of calcium, that is, 1,000mg or 100%DV in a daily 2,000 calorie diet. This advice is often given in milligrams (mg), but the Nutrition Facts label only lists a %DV for calcium.

but since you weren't talking of calcium specifically....
there's nothing circular about being directed to "where the info comes from" just about being able to FIND the requirements

http://www.netrition.com/rdi_page.html
Vitamin A International Unit (IU) 5000
Vitamin C milligrams (mg) 60
Calcium milligrams (mg) 1000
Iron milligrams (mg) 18

there's the 4 food companies are "required" to include on their labels, and the 4 that MFP opted to have trackable.


and you SHOULD be able to add the %DV for the micronutrient such as iron if you're taking it from a nutrition label as it's expressed as a %DV as required on nutrition labels. If you're getting your info from somewhere else then that would be "frustrating". All food labels are supposed to express the %DV based on that "theoretical standard 2000 calorie diet" for the US anyway.


Thanks, that's all I needed.

The circular loop I referred to is that people have asked for the mg values before, and the staff posted a link that just said the same 'based on 2000kcal diet' and contained no figures.

All of my searches never came up with a standard I could trust would have identical values to the ones used in the MFP database, possibly because all of my searches would've Googled around my own country and didn't even mention a 2000kcal example.

There is no requirement for foods to show the % of RDA, and all of the information I have on foods is set out in mg or ug, the same units used in dietary reference value materials. The RNIs I have are all set out according to age and sex, not according to kcal intake so I obviously couldn't use those as reference.

It's very interesting, that (with the exception of calcium) the values quoted about far exceed the RNI of any age or any sex. I guess they're making totally sure that everyone has adequate nutrients.

I'll probably still not bother to add the information for every food I come across, but at least now I am able to help individuals that ask for help with their diaries concerning a particular nutrient that concerns them.
  9711248
October 10, 2012 3:24 AM
Which is why I try and remain WAY UNDER the Allowable daily calorie intake.....If you eat just to match it or be just a tad under, then, chances are that you have surpassed it. Works for me.
  29472736
October 10, 2012 4:41 AM
QUOTE:

How about the option of dragging a food to "My Foods" so that you may use the same one each time? I have the same problem with brown rice. I seem to have to use a different one each time I log it.


Check out the "recent" tab, and if you use it enough, the "favorites" tab, when you log stuff. It's rather naive (and will likely take some time to clear out now that you've probably cluttered yours), but does keep track of such things.
October 10, 2012 4:46 AM
QUOTE:

Oh wait, 2 things... I wish there were a measurement conversion thing to convert everything to eaither grams or ounces, but I realsize that wouldn't actually work.....


(For those who don't know why the above won't work.) The reason they don't have such a feature is that it's a volume to weight/mass conversion, which requires knowing the density of the item in question. The entries would probably actually be worse if they included that for any of the user-entered stuff, since there's no good way to find out the density other than to ask the person entering the information. Users aren't likely to know that, and so either won't put anything in, or would put a bogus number in.

That said, there are conversion calculators out there. They're by no means perfect (and are woefully incomplete), but they're better than nothing.

http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_volume_cooking.htm
October 10, 2012 5:05 AM
Correct. You can't convert exactly between
grams and fluid oz
ml and oz weight

You can convert exactly between:
grams and oz weight
ml and US fluid oz
You can see exact conversion implemented in other food logging websites.
October 10, 2012 5:12 AM
I couldn't agree more - I'm from South Africa and the food labels on our products do not contain the calories, they only mention the kJ's, which means that people need to remember to manually convert to calories and then to enter the calorie amount!
October 10, 2012 5:28 AM
QUOTE:

I couldn't agree more - I'm from South Africa and the food labels on our products do not contain the calories, they only mention the kJ's, which means that people need to remember to manually convert to calories and then to enter the calorie amount!


That's a shame, but you'll only have to create each food you eat once, and then it will be in 'My Foods', 'Recent Items' or 'Favourites'. Painful at first, but you'll soon be just ticking boxes and changing portions.
  9711248

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