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Do you intentionally create duplicate foods? If so, why?

One of the issues that we're working on right now is cleaning up the food database, and in particular, reducing the number of duplicate entries.  Our first step is to try to reduce the number of duplicates that are being created in the first place.  

To help us in that effort, we wanted to ask all of you if you are intentionally creating duplicates, and if so, why?  We're trying to understand all of the reasons why people are creating dups, because we know that there are many valid reasons why you might create a duplicate food.  Here are some of our current theories:

  • You didn't search for the item before trying to enter it in the database

  • You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it 

  • You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed

  • You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match.  You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region

  • You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate
Are there any other reasons why any of you are intentionally creating duplicate items?  If so, please let us know. Our goal is to try to improve the site so that you don't have to create a duplicate item to solve these problems.  For example, we're trying to figure out how to allow people to add additional serving sizes to existing items.
Let us know in the comments below, or in this forum topic:
If you prefer, you can also send me a private message with your feedback.
Thanks for your feedback! With your help, we hope to make the food database and MFP even better.
Hope you are all enjoying the site. 
Mike & Al 


144 votes + -


MissTomGettingThin wrote 87 months ago:
This is one main issue I think.

"You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region"

Some countries are different and at times the description is slightly different and you're not sure.
Like with sweetners and things.
Also I think some people put new records in as serving sizes are different - i.e. can sizes or tins. Packets or sticks.

Just me two penneth worth :O)

TheGoktor wrote 87 months ago:
Numbers 2,3,4 for me: very often I find that the values are given for US measurements, plus ingredients are sometimes different in other countries, so the nutritional values are different. Also, when recipes get updated (e.g. bought coleslaw) sometimes the NVs change too. Oh and yes, random spellings can really throw out the current search engine, so I may not even be aware that the food has already been logged because it doesn't come up in a search, and I get no warning when I try to submit a new entry!
TheGoktor wrote 87 months ago:
PS It would be useful to be able to edit foods in all the screens, not just the database. For example, if I want to add something to my diary but I know that the result I get is wrong, I have to open a new window, and go into the *database* in order to edit it. Similarly, if I want to add a food to the database, and it's already there but incorrect, instead of being able to edit it in that window, I have to open the database window as described before. It would also be really useful if there were a filter so we could choose which results would be shown to us, e.g. only show results in metric (grams, ml). Thanks for listening - you're doing a fab job!
dianeensey wrote 87 months ago:
Definitely 2, 3 and 4. The serving size problem is one I run into on a daily basis Grams vs ounces vs cups vs...
ebgbjo wrote 87 months ago:
When item is updated, it would be nice if it was marked with the date of when it was updated. Just a suggestion
I would also like the option that EVERY food item have the option to select serving size in both grams and ounces- since I use a food scale, as do many others, we generally have the gram and/or ounce size. Maybe add a conversion calculator as well.

What is annoying is when you DO edit a food, you have to go back to the search to find it instead of adding it to your food log right after editing it
McKayMachina wrote 87 months ago:
User-added foods seem to be wrong about 75% of the time. I don't know if it's a matter of products changing or people just not entering properly but I know when *I* add a food, I am meticulous. I've edited before and it always seems to get edited back. So, when there is a discrepancy, I create a new one.
miriamtorason wrote 87 months ago:
Again, 2, 3, and 4. I tend to find that the item I want to add has been misspelled before I get there, and I usually find it three days later (after I've added a new one) when I'm typing in something else and have my fingers one key off of home. @_@ I also find that I'm getting "family sized" things at the store, and I come home to add to MFP and see "serving size 2c" when on my package, it says very plainly that the serving size is 1.75c (or worse, the site will give me serving size in cups [volume] and the packaging will give me ounces/gr/ml [weight] and there is no easy way to convert!) Being in Canada, I also tend to assume that the nutritional information listed is valid in the US. If the listing is for FoodName (Canada) and I have different numbers, I edit, but otherwise I assume it is correct for the US and create the (Canada) entry. The only other thing I do is create my section of "homemade" items - my husband, mother, and several relatives all use this site, so it is mandatory (particularly for my husband!) that he be able to access my recipes for his diary. ^_^
maeadair wrote 87 months ago:
I also find I am making new entries for: adjusting serving sizes/ I too use a scale and find things for example cup measure for cucumber inadequate, to correct nutrient values to what my product in hand says /notice many people only enter what nutrients they follow and not all nutrients (I follow sodium and potassium due to an electrolyte disorder and many times neither are listed), I also belong to an extended family that uses this site and we share meals/recipes so need to add home made items(looking forward to when you get recipe site up and going!!!) :-) Love your site and all the work you put into it is greatly appreciated. 4 more family members have recently started using this site, it is great! Mae
kattungen wrote 87 months ago:
These two are "it" for me :)

You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region
ibelieveinlove7 wrote 87 months ago:
More often than not, I would say about 80% of the time I am looking for something, it has weird or only one serving option. I never create new items though, I just create recipes. It would be great if we could have options for metric and uhm... non-metric units of servings on all items. It does get confusing when you type in "eggs" and end up with a bunch of options and you don't know how accurate things are.
Ultima_Morpha wrote 87 months ago:
I haven't added anything yet, but is definitely about the serving size for me. For most fresh foods, weighing is the most accurate way for me to get what I need. If every solid food had a value for 1 oz. and 1 gram, the rest is easy. Almost everything liquid has the information needed (and I pretty much only drink water) so I haven't had any problems there.
Ultima_Morpha wrote 87 months ago:
Also, having a standard way of entering information would help the search. Especially for foods in their raw state.

beef raw top round choice
eggs raw (size) organic, standard, etc
squash raw yellow
pasta dry linguine whole wheat
talysshade wrote 87 months ago:
I think a lot of people just don't know how to edit stuff.. or add whole meals to pollute the database. Personally i edit everything i come across that i use, that doesn't have all the values entered. A lot of people enter only calories, or only calories and carbs, while i want to track all of it. In this case I edit, though.. i don't put in duplicates for measurements either.. because i find it just as quick to quickly remember "1 oz = 28 grams" and i just find another item if the one i want is in cups, because it's probably there in ozs as well....

I have to admit that i do create duplicates if the values are different for my country because of the product essentially being different.
jenbusick wrote 87 months ago:
One thing I find is that it's very hard to find some common, basic items. Try searching "butter." You get every single entry with "butter" in it -- from Butterball turkey to Butter buns. It's frustrating. I can see how someone might create a new entry, "Salted butter" or something that might let you find it more easily that next time. Eggs are like that, barbecue is such a common word it's hard to find things, etc.
Windi38 wrote 87 months ago:
Usually because the one that is listed is not nutritionally accurate, and I don't feel comfortable editing it.

CallejaFairey wrote 87 months ago:
numbers 3 and 4 are my reasons. although i have edited entries, but wasn't really sure if the editing changed that entry or made a new one, since i have seen, after editing something, it now shows up under my foods. but, the different country thing is the biggest one for me. i always put Canada or Cdn in the titles of new foods i make just so others know the value is for the canadian version of the product.
jessebreanne wrote 87 months ago:
I have added items because the portion size was in imperial instead of metric or "cups" instead of the gram size listed on the package so I didn't know if it was acurate because I weigh my food. Also because it was originally spelled wrong and didn't come up in my first search :) Thanks for updating the site!
zacherybinx wrote 87 months ago:
I think the biggest issue here is the search engine is really counter intuitive and rarely finds exactly what I'm looking for. There need to be better did you means or what others wound up using after a certain search this way perhaps spelling and such wouldn't be such a big issue. Also, there should be a vote up or down for each item so if an item say gets -10 votes as it's clearly not correct something then a mod or yourself could look into why it's getting negative votes. I could do this for 10-20 things right off the bat that are in there more then once. This would also result in perhaps the most +/voted item being a first option in the search. Just my 2 cents.
dilleight wrote 87 months ago:
Would be good if the item stated in the title if it was in volume or grams.
Mindful_Trent wrote 87 months ago:
Definitely # 2, 3 and 4. The search engine does not always work well, and to be honest it's hard to wade through so many results sometimes. I haven't had to add a food in awhile, since I eat a lot of the same foods, but I still get frustrated searching sometimes. The search on the mobile app is even worse - it doesn't indicate what is user-entered and what is MFP-entered (which is one of the big things I look for on produce and meats), and my results are usually even less sensible.
lilscotslass wrote 87 months ago:
I duplicate items when:

- The measurement is in an alternative format (eg. onces) where as I use British measurements (eg. ml) and I don't know how to convert them or don't have time.

- The portion sizes are very odd (such as only having 1ml available rather than something like 500ml for a full bottle of juice)

- Or the nutritional information on the food item already listed is different to what is on the packet I have, even if it's the same item.
chelsifina wrote 87 months ago:
Mostly the serving sizes for me. If it offers options only in ounces or grams, and I need the serving size of a whole banana, or a cup or tsp of something, I search until I find something relevant, or make a new entry.
SheilaSisco wrote 87 months ago:
Serving sizes and information being incorrect but i didn't want to change it for fear of it being correct in another country... Maybe you could make that part of the description. Like when we have to enter the brand name and product name we should have to enter our country too so that we'll KNOW which country that particular food was purchased in...
jamiek89 wrote 87 months ago:
"You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed"

"You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region."

raychill007 wrote 87 months ago:
I always have a problem with user added foods - is there a way to distinguish between the user added ones and the site ones?
I like the idea above about the upvoting, like if a food get 10 minus votes then it is removed from the databse.
It'd also be good to have a feature whereby you can add foods the database, but only you can see and use them, similar to recipes.
ShellyMacchi wrote 87 months ago:
there are times the food entered does not match the canadian nutrient labels, so there are times i will add a food that does not match, nutritionally, to something already in the database, and i add the (Cda) to indicate it IS a canadian version, not just a there are differences
Marcia_11 wrote 87 months ago:
3, 4, and 5! I have searched for foods and the calorie count or nutrition is wrong. I figured it was because it was from a different region/country. I know I can go in and edit but if it's a different region or country I don't want to mess theirs up to make it correct for the US or my region. I do agree that something must be done though to reduce the duplicates.
abellante_0205 wrote 87 months ago:
you should let us be able to fix the serving sizes! Also different companies do different things to their foods? A lot of yogurts have different nutrition values. Also homemade food are different too.
Angie80281 wrote 87 months ago:
If I search for an item and its information doesn't match the package in front of me, I decide what to do based on whether or not it has been confirmed. If it hasn't (or if it's maybe only 1 or 2 confirmations), I'll edit it. However, within the past few days I searched for an item that had 20-some confirmations, but was way off from my package's info. So, I created duplicate, figuring that it might be from a different region. Perhaps a way to indicate the country and/or state might be helpful?
Fiedems wrote 87 months ago:
I would say that I agree with reasons 2, 3 and 4. I use a scale so can switch units if it's something I measured. But if it's something I purchased and don't have the scale, it's hard to figure out grams.

I tend to like the ones that have a standard serving size and then an option to make your own size. For instance serving size is 3oz but the other option is 1oz so that you can create your own.

Also it's confusing to search, even restaraunts are put in several different ways.
ltlhmom wrote 87 months ago:
I edit when I when I notice the information is wrong. I agree that it would be much easier to be able to add it right then to our dairy and not have to go search for it again. Food is sometimes spelled wrong and can't find it maybe the title of the food should also be an option to edit if someone notice it spelled wrong. I also notice sometime on fruits and veggies there are different options for serving size where some are only in cups. I also weigh my food so I'm looking for grams or oz measurements. I keep searching for the right item until I find it.
JanW01 wrote 87 months ago:
Yup, 2, 3 & 4 would be the reasons I would add a duplicate. In particular the serving size I need is important.
Thanks so much
mghane wrote 87 months ago:
I would say that serving size units. There are some great entries that have the oz, g, cups, tbsp, tsp, etc all in one entry, and that's fabulous, but sometimes it's just oz, and for someone without a scale, that's difficult to figure. Btw, LOVE the site :) And then for some things like lettuce, there will be different calorie amounts for inner vs outer leaves, etc.
ShinySpork wrote 87 months ago:
2 and 3 like many other posters, but I definitely wanted to second maeadair wrote about some providers not giving all of the nutrients. Real nutrition and health is not calculated by calories alone. It's also difficult to have any trust in an item that measures calories alone (e.g. Extremely sweet recipes that have 0 grams of sugar? I don't think so but I see it all the time). A lot of incorrect things seem to be confirmed too. Maybe confirmations should be recorded so the same account cannot confirm it multiple times...who knows if people are doing that to well, sabotage (for lack of a better term) member progress by making people think they're doing better than they are...this is the internet after all.
luvmybentley wrote 87 months ago:
I'm a newbie, 1 week in (love your site), and for me it's 2,3,4,5. Mostly it's the serving size. I find it just easier to type in a new food/amount, and save it to MY FOODS to re-use than to look it up each time. I'm in Canada, still use TBSP/Cups for recipes, but packaging labels are in ml/g, I can't be bothered to convert measurements every time.

I agree with what zacharybinkx wrote engine based on +/- votes for the item, delete items that have several - votes from the database.
Fattack wrote 87 months ago:
Usually 2 and 3. If an item is lacking some details I just edit that entry.
sweetheart03622 wrote 87 months ago:
Usually an issue with serving size for me, especially because I prefer to weigh my food. I've noticed that, typically, only the MFP added entries have weight. So anything that isn't a typical food, I end up having to add. Although I must admit, I didn't realize you could edit other people's entries!
threechins wrote 87 months ago:
Another reason for me:

I searched, but the nutirional values were wrong and you can't edit them (or at least I don't know how to) on the iPhone app.

I use the iPhone app almost exclusively - although ironically I'm on a desktop machine typing this. While the app is great because I actually use it when I know I wouldn't consistently use the desktop version it does lack some functionality and editing food appears to be one of them.
neonpink wrote 87 months ago:
You cant edit food on the iphone app !! also a lot of the sodium values on UK foods are wrong due to the fact most people enter the data in grams not milligrams.
RMinVA wrote 87 months ago:
I don't! :-) The only reason I enter a food item is because it is not there. I will edit incorrect entries when I find them. However, it did take me a bit to figure out that one.

I have no problem converting oz to grams or vice versa on my own.
cat3nv wrote 87 months ago:
I do not edit the items already in the data base. Especially when it says it has been confirmed by so many people and it is clearly wrong.

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region, this is my best answer.
Qarol wrote 87 months ago:
The only time I create a food is if I cannot find a matching item, which has only happened a handful of times. If I do find what I'm looking for, usually there are so many variations, some with different nutrition content. When I find one I know is correct, I save it as my meal so I don't have to go searching for it again. I didn't even know I could edit existing entries.
rainunrefined wrote 87 months ago:
2, 3, & 4 - I prefer to weigh my food and most entries are in tbsp, cups, etc. Also a lot of the info is incorrect. I used the barcode scanner on the android app for an item the other day and instead of it listing 10g of fat it listed 90g! I couldn't figure out how to edit the barcode info... so I created a new food. (oh and when I chose to "find a new match" there weren't any).
knittnponder wrote 87 months ago:
I also weigh my food so when they are input as just "one serving" I have no idea how much that might be. If there are different values being used than how I weighed mine I try to just convert if possible (ie. ounces vs. grams) but sometimes I have no idea what their actual serving size was. I think another thing is the quick add feature might help with this if it had a couple of more values to it. I usually take the bun off my burgers and have been able to find nutritional values for them on the web. So when I go to enter I either have to create a whole new food or I can quick add the calories but without the main values (carbs/fats/proteins) it gives me an incomplete diary. Since tracking those other values is important to me I end up creating (although I do try to name them in such a way that it's known the new food has no bun or whatever.)
ifeelsqueaky wrote 87 months ago:
Usually the main reason I create a duplicate is number 3 (the serving size doesn't match) though most of the time I will try and crowbar it in and use conversion as much as possible. Would be good if you could just add a new serving size to the item though!

If the nutritional content doesn't match I edit the item - didn't even think that this might cause trouble for others in different regions though...!
kimmerroze wrote 87 months ago:
I haven't added my own food but I have settled with a less accurate measurement, 1. I don't have the time to constantly be entering new entries, 2. I have the hardest time figuring out how to convert grams,oz, and ml, into Cups tbs etc and vise versa. I think a simple solution would be to only let mfp enter their own foods that would be saved to their own profile, and then they could choose to submit them to the data base. If they choose to submit them, then a mod, or yourself look over them, if it is correct, then it can be added for others use. If that is imposible, I would suggest having multiple ways to measure things, or a converter calculator, or the voting system like previously mentioned. or a combination of the few.
fitzie63 wrote 87 months ago:
@Mike and Albert: The only time I ever added anything is when it was definitely NOT in the database. It is very disconcerting to look for an item and find umpteen different versions of it with many different nutrient values as well. Yes, PLEASE, clean up the mess that far too many created. Bless you both for taking some of your precious VOLUNTEER TIME to clean up after stupidity. I'm very grateful for your program and for helping me save my own life.
TheZabet wrote 87 months ago:
I don't intentionally add new things to the database if they are there; I'm much more likely to modify what is the closest to the nutrition info I'm getting off a website/package. But this takes time - I check the nutrition info on each version of a multiple item - and most people probably aren't that patient. Also, most people probably aren't quite as umm.... "arrogant," I suppose, as I am and willing to change what someone else has entered. I would very much like to be able to flag items that are possibly duplicates if it helps you guys out.

I have also noticed that is a trend towards mislabeling t hings under the brand name - and even I have almost had this problem. Example: Eggo Waffles are actually Kellog's Eggo Waffles. Or one thing will be listed under "Such and Such Co." while another is listed under just "Such and Such." Hope that helps!
cowpoke06 wrote 87 months ago:
You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate

I didn't know I could edit. Now that I know I can edit, the question is if I edit it, does it change the item permanently in the data base or just for my use for that one entry that one time? what I have entered as duplicates are homemade items.
bparr wrote 87 months ago:
You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region

abyt42 wrote 87 months ago:
I edit information if I'm absolutely 100% certain that I'm working with the same item (brand name, serving size, etc.) I create foods and add them to the database if I cannot find a commercially prepared product with the same serving size/calorie information after searching by both brand name and more generic name, but tend to add items as "my foods" when the item is not commercially prepared.

My preference is to use the MFP created items as a first choice, then frequently confirmed user created items as a second choice, so if there were a way to force the search to return items with the unmarked items at the top of the list, I'd appreciate that.
otr12 wrote 87 months ago:
1. I want the accuracy of measuring in grams and that isn't an option.

2. It's faster to just create a new item using the information off the label than it is to search through the 8 available options to see what matches the item in my hand.
rainbowdarling wrote 87 months ago:
Combining like entries and making sure they have a variety of serving size options would be great. Like for bananas, there are a bunch of different entry types for "medium" bananas, often with conflicting information. Then if my bunch has a different size, I have to search again for the other size, rather than being able to go into my recent foods and modify the size there.

Regarding the food DB as well: it would be great if it could prioritize things somehow. Like, if I search for pepper, perhaps it could bring up just the entries that have "pepper" first and then things like "pepper encrusted pork tenderloins" or the like afterward. Otherwise it's very tedious to search for simple things like chicken, salt and pepper.
jknops2 wrote 87 months ago:
I use metric, many use US weight, or US volume. I would help if you incorporate this inot the metric /non metric option and automatically convert every unit, so that only one set shows.
AFitasticYou wrote 87 months ago:
I have found the same exact item, but the nutrition is different from my package. So I have thought maybe it's different in a different region, or maybe the store changed it....can you edit the information that someone else submitted?
TrainerRobin wrote 87 months ago:
As I prefer to weigh my foods in grams, so I've added a new entry in metric and try to note that (somehow) in the title so others will know.

I'd like to suggest a GREAT model for how to look up foods (I use it to create my entries in MFP), in this case, for bananas:

Why reinvent the wheel if you can borrow someone else's easy and accurate methodology? :) Thanks for looking at this issue. I appreciate it.
Suzy12 wrote 87 months ago:
Agree with most others, 2, 3, & 4. But also I think the food should be listed as to what it is. Not "generic" something. That would also make it easier to find.

And then finally let us delete so we can clean up our exhaustive lists.
SCC88 wrote 87 months ago:
You know what makes me sick!? EVERYDAY I go through the food database and see that some bloody lemon has put the sodium in as grams not mg. I think I'll spend the rest of my life editing them and putting them correct.
girlfriendal wrote 87 months ago:
Lots of misspellings. Lots of different nutritional info between entries. Lots of conflicting info. I use the iPhone app almost exclusively and cannot edit other people's entries on there. Not always the serving size I need. You've pretty much nailed the issues. My husband keeps saying it would be perfect if you could just scan food bar codes to get the right info to pop up on my phone....perhaps a long long term goal for you to look at...would be AWESOME. Listing food by brand in our food diaries would help a lot too, just from being able to refind stuff we're used before. I am beyond sick of the four screen fulls of FAT FREE titled foods. Being able to copy food from one day to another I think would also help. I often find myself reentering something I had last week because it simply vanishes from my clue why.
susioryan wrote 87 months ago:
I have to say that I like to weigh my foods and like to do grams have found it difficult to find some of the foods in grams,
Sublog wrote 87 months ago:
Somewhat unrelated, but on the user created foods, it would be nice if the site was smart enough to do a "dirty" check on the calories based on entered (fats, carbs, protein, fiber). Understand that not all carbs are created equally calorically, but protein is 4cal per g, and fats are 9cal per g)

One small tip I do calculate the calories based on the macros to ensure they are relatively close before I add. If something listed as 100 calories, but has 10g of fat and 5g of protein, I obviously know something is wrong with either the calories or the macronutrients listed.

It should be able to understand when all macros are entered and that number should be relatively close to the calories listed and if not, it should alert the user to the likely discrepancy.
Azuleelan wrote 87 months ago:
I sometimes add a duplicate when this thing doesn't let me edit the info. I want to edit the info when I have proof that something is wrong and when the grammage isn't available.
rachellepilcher wrote 87 months ago:
"You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed"

"You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region"

I usually keep searching til I find one that is close and edit it...I think I have only made 1 or 2 actual duplicates to change serving size. I try to get all my info direct from the company website or the package itself.
demery12371 wrote 87 months ago:
This one is pretty close...

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate

IE: option is in grams instead of oz or cups or tsp/tbsp.

Thank you for this post.. Very helpful to know that I'm not the only confused sometimes by the different options.
reegordon wrote 87 months ago:
These are my reasons:
*You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it
*You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed
Also, there have been times when I find an item one day and when I look for it the next day, it doesn't come up. I use the same key words as before so I'm not sure why this happens. It's not often, but it has happened at least a few times.
rskidmore wrote 87 months ago:
For me personally it's usually one of the last three plus the fact that there are so many different measurements that are possible. Some are in ounces or cups or grams, etc. It makes it difficult to know what you should be going with so you create a duplicate.
Angie80281 wrote 87 months ago:
Another reason I may add a duplicate item is when the measurement used does not match my preferred form of measurement. For example, I recently added duplicates for broccoli and strawberries, because the existing entries were made in cups. Imo, this is a very inaccurate way of measuring fruits and vegetables, and I prefer to use my food scale. Since no entries existed using ounces or grams, I created them.
arcticlynx1 wrote 87 months ago:
I have just started here and have already come across bits that relate to your question.

I looked up a "bowl" type food that you would get at a bulk box store. The bowl had three things in it separated kinda (chicken, beans, and rice). The only entry on the site was altered to remove the rice from it (whereas I ate it with rice). So that persons personal preference made me enter a new complete entry, as I did not know what they calculated to remove the rice.

Secondly, I have come across a number of items with MULTIPLE entry's. Many sound similar or are probably the same, and we are unsure about it. Sometimes stores sell slightly different products to different stores, states, country's, or regions. Two things that would help I suspect is to somehow let people photograph/scan in a bar-code/upc to not only indicate a product, but maybe also enter a lot of the info directly (not sure how that system works these days). If there were some sort of national database linked to the barcode/upc's of products, that would be ideal to draw from.

Also, it would be nice if people could enter a picture of the product package, so we could say "Oh! That is the one I got". It might help eliminate duplicates, or indicate if something is slightly different.

Lastly, it would be nice if once we put in the package info, that we could change the units if possible for the product. Maybe just add the entry for people to add how many ounces are in a whole package, as well as the serving "size". For example in my previous mention, the serving size was "one bowl", and it didn't indicate serving weight or volume.
rks6902 wrote 87 months ago:
I am just excited to see that this is going to be cleaned up, because it really does need to be. I do wish that when grams come up as an amount, the ounces would also be in the drop down menu so to accommodate everyone. But I rarely enter a new one because I can convert grams to ounces easily enough. It just would make the process simplier.

A spell checker might be nice, similar to google, "Did you mean xxxxx?"

Maybe before someone enters a new item, the system can read the entered information and suggest items that it culd be before allowing the new item to be saved.
oldtyke wrote 87 months ago:
I find that alot of things are in cups. Now that means nothing to me being from the UK. Could we please have ounces or grams?
shellgib wrote 87 months ago:
I agree with editing things that haven't been confirmed by numerous people already. However, if there are a ton of confirmations, then I may enter a new version as food packaging info varies from different regions. I also may enter a new version to put it in the weight equivalent and leave the one that is in the cup size portions as to not mess up someone elses way of entering. If there was a way to choose more variations within one entry (such as the standard ones you have for fresh fruits/veggies with all the different sizes and whether it's diced/sliced/whole/etc) that would be better as well.
particlefizix wrote 87 months ago:
Like a few other folks I've made dupes based on the different nutritional values of the product for the region a live in (with the country name added in parenthesis). So I really think a country 'selector' would be a useful addition (not just for this reason) to Food items.

However, when I know the product is ONLY available from one country (e.g exported) but the values are inaccurate, then I just tend to edit it.

One of the other reasons I've been tempted too create dupes is down to incorrect labeling (sometimes brand and description entered as company name!) and of course misspellings ('protien'!?). Though I don't tend to dupe IF I find the item easily... ;-)
Cristy_AZ wrote 87 months ago:
I added a couple things I couldn't find but mostly I only add to "my foods" and "recipes" but I could see why people would. I enter all my food from my android app and what isn't packaged or the scanner won't pick up is very frustrating to find. Lots of duplication, wrong or incomplete info, I always double check it against labels and for fresh food I pick the one confirmed most. Thanks for cleaning it up, it sure needs it! :)
Dragonwolf wrote 87 months ago:
While I try not to create duplicates, I've also run into the problem of things being in a unit of measurement that I'm not familiar with or that doesn't convert easily. The mass/weight vs volume measurements of dry goods is especially frustrating. It would be nice to be able to list more measurement options, or even have profile options for measurement types and filter out the ones not selected. Perhaps there should be a "region(s)" setting on the food entries, too. That way it doesn't have to be in the title (or it can be automatically appended to the title), and we can distinguish between the foods made for different countries.
raquelphillips10 wrote 87 months ago:
There's no way to get a food if you're on offline mode, if you have the itouch you cant access all the foods but can still can add your own, so we simply dont see them

Once you add a food there's no way to delete it, or its hard to find
SweetBeth wrote 87 months ago:
It's almost always the wrong serving size for me if I create a duplicate. Seems like a simple fix: allow us to add more serving sizes to already created foods.
tebumgarner wrote 87 months ago:
That would be amazing if the food database got cleaned up of duplicates. It would be nice to have a button to easily report duplicates and/or inaccurate food to someone. I'd be willing to help with that!
Manda1987 wrote 87 months ago:
I second the "not the serving size I want" reason. I find that, for instance, if I'm baking and want to enter a cup of sugar into my recipe, I have to convert to teaspoons because every sugar entry is for people who drink coffee. Or I have to try and figure out what the heck an ounce of chicken breast is, or what 45 grams of chickpeas looks like. This isn't supposed to make eating harder for me, so I just make my own entry.
Wakx wrote 87 months ago:
Yes, I too use metric. I honestly have NO CLUE how much is a fluid oz, a cup, a pound, pint or whatever. I really hope that MFP will make it visible from the search menu which options are in metric and which are not. I also pity the vast majority who runs into my entries ;)
heidiberr wrote 87 months ago:
I have a hard time finding correct items--a lot of misspellings and different ways brands are put into the database. The grocery store I use, HyVee is in there as Hy-Vee, HyVee, Hy Vee brand----the search engine is very picky. However, I do edit if I find something is incorrect instead of add their own. I also hate customized resturant meals in the database. The customized meals should be personal meals--not in a the database as "Subway Turkey on Wheat, Provolone--Mayo---etc etc" It just adds clutter.

Thanks Mike!!
Rhiani wrote 87 months ago:
I've only been told 2 or 3 times that I might be entering a duplicate item; every time it was for a home made item and I had no way of determining if what someone else entered was based on the same recipe I was using so I chose to enter my own item.

There have been times that I was tempted to add duplicate items due to serving/packaging size discrepancies but so far I have not done so.
deadlift wrote 87 months ago:
Today I created a new entry for bassetts jelly babies, there are already a number of entries for them, but they are by weight, i wanted a simple entry for per jelly baby (so number 3), also i don't want to measure things in cups.

To solve number 4, I've seen a few entries with a country code after, perhaps the people responsible for coding your pages could determine the country of the person putting the entry in (or include it as a mandatory user input field) or perhaps even the continent?, and automatically append the country code. If they are able to do this then the page could also be coded to relay only the results for that persons country code back to them (if multiple country codes exist) so for me i would only get served result for UK and all results for Non-country coded items - I guess this might require extensive work. I do think this is something that would account for people in the US thinking the same product in the UK is wrong etc.

ps, i think the system is amazing anyway. and so is this site. many thanks!
JaydeSkye wrote 87 months ago:
Hi Mike,

The serving size is a major issue. It depends how it was originally input into the database. For example,if the original entry is for Publix Brand 2% milk and the serving size is 1/2 cup; your options are limited to 0.5 for 1/4 cup, or 1 for 1/2 cup, 2 for a full 1 cup, etc. However if you want to use 2/3 cup of milk, it is easier to just create a new entry. I think maybe a measument converter could help solve this issue.

Also, some packages have different nutritional values, for the SAME product. Example: I purchased 15.25oz cans of Green Giant Whole Kernal Sweet Corn at Publix individually and then bought a large case of the same brand, same size, same everything at Costco - but the calories/fat/sugar were higher in the individual cans. Knowing this, I am hesitant to edit earlier entries because some people may be purchasing variations of the same product, it is impossible to tell.

The reason I do not add the foods strictly to MY FOODS and rather to the database, is because my husband also uses MFP and he is LAZY. Once I've created the food for myself, he logs in and adds it to his meal.

I add each food item seperately, as I believe it should be done. Not everyone will eat 4oz of pastrami with only 2 slices of prov. cheese on a wheat roll. So instead of creating the sandwitch, I add the meats, cheese and bread seperately, I think doing it that way would help clean up the database.

SemiChaud wrote 87 months ago:
You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate

All of the above!!
cspinney wrote 87 months ago:
Reasons 3 & 4.
WendyMargot wrote 87 months ago:
For me, I simply just don't trust other ppl to enter things right since I've run into so many inaccurate or incomplete listings. I always double check any listings in the database that I search for against the package for that food in my house. If it's correct, I'll use that, but if it's not, I just find it easier to create a new one, rather than mess with something that someone else created. Also, I rarely ever add my created foods to the database since it seems difficult enough to search for stuff and I don't want mine being edited. That's just what works for me though.
Griffin90 wrote 87 months ago:
If you edit them I would take one and add several different measurements to it. I find that some just have grams, other ounces and others volume. So I usually pick the one that fits what I know. If they were all on one it would probably eliminate a large percentage of the duplicates.
laurabeerotten wrote 87 months ago:
No one can put in microwave popcorn correctly, I've discerned. I usually don't add my corrections to the database because they get changed back. Seriously, folks, the asterisk in the nutrition label means find it and read what the asterisk denotes! The part in the actual label is for UNPOPPED corn 99% of the time, from the calories all of the way down to the vitamins. The asterisk relists all of these values for when the corn is popped. Personally, I find the popcorn brands at most fault for listing the unpopped nutrition as the main nutrition, because who the heck sits there and munches on hard corn kernels? But reading the label meticulously is something all of us who are watching closely what goes in our bodies should do.
tmthorn0927 wrote 87 months ago:
My main reason... You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it .

BUT also, I don't always want to type the whole description and I find the system won't find something I know is there. Like if I just type pean and search I may get nothing (just an example if I did not want to type peanut butter). I have that happen more than I want.
goron59 wrote 87 months ago:
I have done, usually because the one I find is not exactly the same (but named in a vague manner, perhaps because the person thinks of the brand in a different way) but mostly because the numbers are blatantly wrong.

You need a way of letting people know that entries are very poor. I bet that bad entries are entered by the same people, so you could use this information to encourage bad data enterers to do it properly. In particular: * entering grams for milligrams and vice versa
* not bothering to enter values for things
* entering incorrect portion sizes.

You can't blame the people all the time though - the data entry screens don't lend themselves to accurate data entry.
seansquared wrote 87 months ago:
I have not entered duplicate items, but I have found myself correcting several items that were just flat-out wrong. All member-submitted, mind you, so not MFP's fault.

If possible, I'd suggest buying or leasing nutrition data from a major provider of such data, providing a specific set of serving sizes (1oz and 1g only), and then making users actually do the work - oh I had a cup of Food X, crap how many ounces in a cup, etc.
monkeydharma wrote 87 months ago:
Contrary to many comments, your search engine works fine - most people just don't know how to search effectively. Provide a tutorial on how to search effectively. Also, keep user entries in a separate category until they have been cleared by mods. I use the mobile version, and I'd have no problem first doing a search through the 'clean' database, then have at the bottom a button saying 'also search through user entries' along with 'create a new food' and 'quick add calories only'. This would allow us to realize that the second class of entries may be less accurate - plus they would be segregated and you wouldn't have your main database constantly re-polluted.
pipergirl07 wrote 87 months ago:
You found the items but the nutritional content didn't match.
Sometimes companies change their products, too, so that may be a reason why only one or two nutritional elements don't match and everything else does.
Also, I didn't know that I could edit existing entries so I will be doing that from now on.
amyoliver85 wrote 87 months ago:
Grams versus ounces versus cups versus sizes.

For user has put strawberries in as 100 grams. Another has put it in ounces. Yet another has put it in terms of cups. And another still has been measuring in terms of the SIZE of the strawberry.

Any of these could be valid methods, but I for one, measure solid foods in grams. So I have to use an entry that shows the nutritional info based on grams.

And not saying the others are not valid methods, but the MOST valid method for measuring solid foods IS in grams, and so I would say that you should find a way to eliminate the ability to put things in in ounces for solid foods.

But also, people will say, for instance that they ate an individual serving bag of bolthouse baby carrots but then put "1 bag" as a serving instead of the grams. Did you know that there are 3 sizes of individual serving bags of bolthouse baby carrots??? It's incredibly frustrating because users don't really understand that and so things get messed up in the system.

So I say that grams and ounces should be the requirement and you shouldn't allow cups or food sizes as a serving size except in the recipe database. That would eliminate a great deal of the confusion between users in different areas of the world and even different parts of the country. That may make some people mad, but you can buy a simple food scale for $5. And since the point of this web site is to really help people lose weight and eat healthy and be more aware of what they are eating, it would make sense for everyone to have to invest in a food scale anyway.
Wisefaq wrote 87 months ago:
>You found a matching item, but it
> didn't have the serving size you needed

Yes, example Coke Cola.

>You found a matching item, but the
>nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't
>edit the item because you thought the
>nutritional item might be accurate but
> for a different country or region

Yes, Homel's Compleats. The Australian sold meal, while packaged in the US, had a higher sodium mg on the packaging than in your database.

Another problem is how to convert from Kilojoules to Calories. A lot of products in Australia just have a Kilojoules value. I use the conversion tool on .
Foreveraspiring wrote 87 months ago:
The serving sizes don't match what's on the label or aren't useful. Like some bizarre amount of grams that nobody would eat or could figure out into cups.
kelly_a wrote 87 months ago:
2 & 4. I don't always buy the same brands b/c of price, therefore have to enter something new...and I rarely buy 'name brand'. I weigh most everything I eat, so I really like it when grams, ounces, Tbsp, is available...esp the ** 1 g ** feature. I use a conversion site to figure out *grams to ounces* and vice versa.
eviegirl1 wrote 87 months ago:
I have just joined. I find it tricky finding a food version that is the same as what is in Australia, or that the serving size is not suitable or standard (eg a bowl is a very vague measurement). I have not duplicated any foods though. It would also be great to be able to make a list showing all the healthy foods and their associated calories/kj so I have an easy reference to the almost free foods. eg some vegies are not as free as others eg frozen beans vs corn kernals.
musicgirl88 wrote 87 months ago:
Serving sizes!! I'm getting so tired of reading the serving size on my food that says one cup, but the only thing I can find in the data base is measured in tablespoons. It would be nice if there is one food that has that many different ways to measure it then we can actually add the measurement in somehow. I've seen several things that you can choose teaspoons or tablespoons or grams and that is amazing! But it only seems to be on certain foods.
trishlambert wrote 87 months ago:
2nd and 3rd. I might not be using a key word combination that will pick up an existing entry. And the serving sizes...cups when I've measured out in ounces (e.g. cheese) or vice versa; grams when I need ounces. Obvious fix to this one is to add another "serving type" to an existing entry--we can do that by editing it, right?
fitterpam wrote 87 months ago:
One thing that I've seen a lot of is *net carbs*. So people that are looking to measure their food choices differently are putting in different values.
peanutbutterpanic wrote 87 months ago:
My reason for occasionally entering food myself is twofold & you and you mentioned both above:

"You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it"

"You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed"

I get frustrated searching & searching to end up finding nothing that matches what applies to me, so I enter my own stuff.
♥AngelKisses♥ wrote 87 months ago:
"You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region"

I found in one case a family style frozen meal on the box serves 4. When I search for it, it had a servings per container @ 3. I believe this maybe done for a 3 person family. Which is fine but when adding it to the database it causes an issue for the next person that wants to add it to their diary. Thank you for taking the time to take in our opinions!
perceptualobfuscator wrote 87 months ago:
I think there are a couple of reasons. Often, the Canadian and American nutrient contents are different. They are actually two different products that just happen to have the exact same name. So if you edit it, one country loses out. Instead, I'd rather create a new entry so that both countries have it as an food option. So this leads to duplicate entries that are not actually duplicate entries.

Another reason for this is deficiencies in your search engine. One thing I've really noticed is for Co-op products. If you search for "coop tomato pasta sauce" you get nothing. But if you search for "co-op tomato pasta sauce" you get entirely different results. Just one piece of grammar changes every result you get. This is a problem, and it leads to the creation of duplicate entries.

Lastly, I have difficulties with different measurement types, often used more frequently in other countries. In this way, duplicate entries are useful, because you are given various options for measurement.

KMCorazon wrote 87 months ago:
It appears that 2,3 and4 are the main reasons for many of us. I have often found a food in the database but the serving sizes are different or not there at all. I try not to make new entries if I can help it, but there are a few times when I have had to do so. Otherwise, I LOVE this site and will certainly continue to use it no matter what. Keep up the good work!
ShinySpork wrote 87 months ago:
Boolean operators/logic would help too, imho.
unvivid wrote 87 months ago:
Number 4, many times over. I often find the exact item but with slightly off nutritional info. I don't want to correct it for fear somewhere the item is being packaged differently.
run_way wrote 87 months ago:
The only times I've made a duplicate entry it's been because it didn't have the serving size I needed or I couldn't convert it, OR the nutritional information was different than the packaging/information I had. I didn't know you could edit the nutritional info, though...
pushthelimits wrote 87 months ago:
I haven't added duplicates, but I do appreciate when there are ones, based on serving size. I don't go by grams, I go by cup sizes. 1/4, 1/2, etc. So when I see a duplicate, I choose the one that has the option for cups instead of grams.
Azzrielish wrote 87 months ago:
I try hard not to add duplicate entries (and I personally find them very annoying - when I dont have a lot of time having to weed through four versions to determine which one is the correct one or most accurate one).

Two items in your list jumped out at me:

You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate
jalara wrote 87 months ago:
Only when the Canadian version differs from the American one!
Fattack wrote 87 months ago:
Oh also, being in the UK means a lot of our products are different to the US / Canadian ones. Having the country show up in the food search (in brackets perhaps) as default - some people input foods this way which is really helpful for international brands like Heinz - would be extremely helpful.
vigorouselbows wrote 87 months ago:

You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it

You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region

You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate
bosworthdk wrote 87 months ago:
Biggest problem for me is #3 You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed
This links to a more general problem that everything on the site is geared towards imperial measurements, and the support for metric is quite incomplete.

I wouldn't have to add duplicates if sizes were listed in metric as well as cups, fl oz, etc.
Also the dietary information is most often listed pr. 100 g and with energy content in kJ instead of kcal.
kidtechnical wrote 87 months ago:

1. "You didn't search for the item before trying to enter it in the database"
No, I hope no one does that! I always search, if too many items or no items come up I just enter the cals manually & consider checking the database later.

2. "You searched for the item, but due to deficiencies in our search engine (i.e. it doesn't always catch misspellings, etc.), you didn't find it"
I don't see how I would know if it was due to a deficiency or due to it not being there. In that case I'd just manually add the cals for speed and consider checking the database more thoroughly later.

3. "You found a matching item, but it didn't have the serving size you needed"
Yes, I often find a product in measurements that mean nothing to me as I'm a UK resident and deal in grams and mls. Worse I have to pick through mulitiple entries looking for one with UK measurements only to find it's item after item of cups, ounces etc. If there's an item already in cups for example, I am unaware of a way to add a gram version to the existing entry. The only way round this would be to incorporate the country of origin in the title of the item (ie Muller Yogurt (UK))
**for me this is the most off putting obstacle in keeping my food diary & it was what stopped me using the app for the first 3 months, I just found it really frustrating***

4. "You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't edit the item because you thought the nutritional item might be accurate but for a different country or region"
Yes, I have done this.

5. "You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. You didn't know how to edit it, so you created a duplicate"
Not to my knowledge.

Thanks for working to improve the database. If you're after feedback I'd love to be able to set a filter for the units of measurement used for items, then I could just view items entered in grams, mls, tbsp, tsp etc, in other words the ones relevant to me. This would greatly enhance my use of the site and would certainly have made the site less off putting initially.
MorgaineFey wrote 87 months ago:
#2,3, and 4, however the #3 is the worst.

When I am creating a recipe I need to have the amounts exact. "Whole Container" is not helpful. The serving size on the side is. Especially when I am searching for american products that are analogs for the international products I am using.
SeasideOasis wrote 87 months ago:
#2, #3,well as #4. I mean, I found an entry for chicken THAT HAD ZERO PROTEIN!! I was like "are you kidding". I get frustrated, so I add my own.
marsts wrote 87 months ago:
i either a) can't find it
or b) can't find the right brand, with the correct nutrition elements
rtmama wrote 87 months ago:
I think the main reason I create a duplicate is because of a difference in serving size. I like weighing my food, and sometimes when I am posting a "recipe" I need to figure out grams or ounces for flour or something.
Oogiem wrote 87 months ago:
I've created duplicates for lots of reasons. Here are some of the ones that really stand out for me:

The serving size is incorrect according to the package or it's in grams and I want ounces or cups.

I can't find simple generic items like lamb shanks with weights not number of shanks, similar issues for other basic foods that are not brand name prepared items.

The nutritional content is wrong and when I've changed it on my desktop it gets changed back.

There is no way to edit nutritional content on the iPod/iPhone app so I have to create a new food if it's wrong there.

Search needs to be categorized. Right now if you search for egg you get everything with egg in it. There is no easy way to search for basic generic items like butter, lamb, chicken etc. There is no rhyme or reason to the order of items. They come up randomly as far as I can see and the basic things are often pages away.
Lyadeia wrote 86 months ago:
I create duplicates because there are some foods that you only have measured in grams. I can't tell you how large a piece of meat is when you say it's X amount of grams. I use ounces and so does my label. I enter in the new foods and use exactly what is on my label. Fresh meats from Harris Teeter come with nutritional labels, and lo and behold, the facts differ from the "facts" in the database. I want to be accurate according to what I am eating, not necessarily some weird national average. I also agree with the above that when you search something so simple as "egg" you often get 2398472834756 recipes that people input that have "egg" in the title and I grow weary drudging through their recipes. I think it would be a HUGE benefit to DELETE THE RECIPES from the food database. Let people use them privately without posting them to the database!!! Also, some things are HORRIBLY INACCURATE. I once saw that 1 whole egg was reported to have 120 calories and 8 grams of fat. Simply untrue and totally WRONG! But yet, it has a ton of confirmations so lots of people are undereating because the database is wrong. My eggs on the label in the carton say 70 calories and 4.5 g of fat which means I can safely eat twice as much if you are trusting the database. Oh and the serving is sooo annoying to have to get out a calculator to figure out how many fractions of a tablespoon, for example, I need. I have inputted a whole recipe that calls for a small amount of olive oil, or other spice, and the recipe looks something like "0.003 tablespoons of ingredient X and 0.0012 tablespoons of ingredient Y" when it could have just as easily been measured in TEASPOONS as well as tablespoons. I have never used my calculator nearly as much with cooking before entering recipes into my food log. :) And yeah, as echoed above by many posters, so many foods are simply entered incorrectly that I don't even bother fixing the entry as it is faster and easier to add my own while looking at the label. Funny how you can search the database and find the exact item you are looking for twice with 2 different nutrition "facts" listed. :-/
Lyadeia wrote 86 months ago:
"One thing that I've seen a lot of is *net carbs*. So people that are looking to measure their food choices differently are putting in different values." I totally agree with this comment!!! Some people only input what THEY are if they are not looking at fiber, then they won't even add it to their food nutritional data and that is very misleading for the rest of us. I entered in a Subway sandwich which actually was in the database...but the O/P didn't enter the amount of sodium at all. The sandwich has over 1500 g of sodium which is insanely important to know. Just because THEY don't care about it, they omit it from the entry making the rest of us think we are getting something healthy for us when in reality, we are not and are just sabotaging our own results.
ingeborc wrote 86 months ago:
Homemade meals and items are especially annoying when searching for a food in the database! I understand that people would like to share them with friends and family, but it makes the database confusing for the rest of us. A solution could be to have an option where you can "share the food only with your MPF friends" (should also be possible when entering a recipe or a meal) or that friends can copy meals from each other.
I also feel that there should be a section where you enter the country when you add a food to the database so that it's clear where the nutritional information is valid. I always check the database and only make a new entry if my item is missing from the database or if the items that I find to not match the nutritional information on my item (I always check and enter ALL the information - not only the calories). I rarely edit or click on "no" when the question on whether the data is correct or not appears because I worry that it might be correct in another country.
I like the above idea to have +/- votes and that items with too many negative votes are removed...
And to be able to add different serving sizes or use different units (g, ml, oz,...)...
And it should be clear which items are added or checked by MFP and which ones that are based on members...
And for the times that I'm just lazy and just add food as "quick add calories" it would be wonderful if it was possible to add a description to it so that one can later go back and view the diary whithout having to remember what it was...:)
Otherwise a perfect site for me!
countrymom1 wrote 86 months ago:
I don't necessarily create duplicates, but having different serving sizes would be GREAT!! It is frustrating when the only entry I find for a particular item has a serving size, for example, of 5.3 oz and I gave myself a portion of 1 cup. Then, I have to do some fancy calculating to finally get the caloric number, and then I just usually put it in under "Quick Add Calories" - which brings me to another suggestion, if I may ... It would be nice if I could label the "Quick Add Calories" so that if I go back and look over the week, I can see what that item was, and not have to try to remember. Other than that, LOVE the site!!
offtheWalling wrote 86 months ago:
I simply add dups because I have more than the amount that is offered in the drop down menu. For example. I might have some marshmellows but the amount says "6 ounces" Well I had 12 ounces to I put it in twice to reflect that. Thanks for the interest in improving the site. :D
Cytherea wrote 86 months ago:
One reason that I would create a duplicate is because certain packaged foods have different nutritional information dry vs. cooked. Personally, I add everything dry, and all the ingredients that go into cooking it (e.g. oil, butter, milk, etc.) separately to get the most accurate measurement, because I might make it differently next time. A lot of times, when I go to find a food, there are multiple entries for the same thing, but none of them are the "dry" product, so I will make a duplicate, but clearly label it as such so that it is immediately apparent that this is different, though it is the same product.

I think it is great that you are working to improve this, as the duplicate entries can make things much more complicated and frustrating when you have to go through many entries to find the one that matches what you want.
W0zzie wrote 86 months ago:
Yes - 2, 3 & 4 as well. Actually just thought of another one which I have done.

The Duplicates themselves - You search and get such a stupid amount of hits that it's just easier to add a new item - I don't publish them though.
asauna wrote 86 months ago:
most of the time it doesn't always have the serving size that i need.
roseymacdoo wrote 86 months ago:
Mainly 3 & 4 for me.

Being able to add a new serving size to an existing item in the database would be a big improvement and help cut down on dups.

Like others have said I like to weigh my food out so the accuracy of grammes is important to me and also being in the uk I need metric measurements - all these 'cups' mean nothing to me!
yeahfatty wrote 86 months ago:
I create duplicates when I can't locate an amount fitting for the portion I've chosen.
fraises wrote 86 months ago:
Perhaps a separate database for generic items would help make things less confusing
fat_beyonce wrote 86 months ago:
it's a personal recipe or the U.K stats are different
AngelOD wrote 86 months ago:
Yeah, for me it's definitely the part about serving sizes. I've tried to add additional serving sizes to an existing item, but to no avail, so if that was possible to do (or at least easy if it's already possible) then I wouldn't have to create duplicate entries. :)
lazallen wrote 86 months ago:
My wife and I have just started using the service, we both created new entries for foods this week as the serving sizes didn't seem right. However we both had to enter the foods separately on our own accounts? how soon after entering a new food is it available to other users? It would be really cool if one user could enter the details of their meal and then share this with another user who ate the same meal.
thefluffyone wrote 86 months ago:
As with many other people, serving sizes are probably the biggest issue. In particular I find this for items with nutritional data by weight but that are served by portion.

An example from today is a packet of naan breads. The nutritional information is given per 100g, but one serving is "One naan" which happens to be 130g. To enter this in a way that lets me set one naan as the serving size, I must recalculate all of the nutritional information by multiplying by 1.3.

I have created a duplicate before because an existing entry had unhelpful serving sizes as a result of the above.

It would be far more useful IMO if I could enter the nutritional information independently of the selectable serving size; i.e. enter the nutritional values per 100g, but set the serving size to "One naan (130g)".
JulaMonster wrote 86 months ago:
Personally I don't add new foods to the public database, but I think a main reason why people may is because of variations in determining serving size. For example, one entry for cheddar cheese may give it's servings in ounces, another in grams, or even more vaguely, 'one slice'. For a common database to be truly effective, there needs to be as many possible systems of determining serving size, such as ounces AND grams, etc., for each item.
johnthefatman wrote 86 months ago:
I do not enter duplicates but they are getting annoying. I have not read through all the 130 comments above so some possibly most of this will have been said before.
One source of duplicates is that people search by the exact full title of the product not realising that you can just enter the one or 2 words.
Another source is people do not realise that where you have an entry for say 100g and your portion is 130 you only need to change the 1.0 to 1.3 when you add the food you do not need to add a new entry. CONTEXT SENSITIVE HELP WOULD HELP IN MANY PLACES.
Mike we had a discussion a while back about sodium I do hope you are going to put some validation on the sodium entry to for milligrams - the erroneous use of decimal gram values is still the biggest flaw in the database IMHO
Some things I would like to see - some options on the search . eg
1 a checkbox to restrict the search to results with at least 1 confirmation.
2 a checkbox to restrict the results to only generic ingredients so I could enter Leeks and just get leeks not every product that has leeks in it.
3 Some extra data fields would be useful and though they would not have an immediate effect would be helpful in the long run - e.g. a country code and a date last confirmed.
4 Options to display search results in descending order of number of confirmations would be good too.

Thanks again for this site it has truly changed my life

John - who may need a change of name soon ;-))

britachu wrote 86 months ago:
I typically add duplicate foods for the "nutritional information isn't correct" reason - I have found things that are more than 100 calories off, which adds up!!
Fattack wrote 86 months ago:
This is something a little separate, but I'm also finding a lot of issues with sodium.

If you could give people the option to enter either salt (g) or sodium (mg) or sodium (g) it would solve a lot of issues. 99% of the time, I'm finding people have input the sodium content correctly - they have either input the amount of salt, or sodium in grams. It's frustrating to be constantly editing others' food, either due to laziness (because they can't be bothered to convert salt to sodium/ grams of sodium to mg), confusion (they don't know how to convert) or stupidity (because they can't read).

Loving the site, and thank you for all your efforts!
Jakerbaker wrote 86 months ago:
I have had issues with the nutrition information not matching up with the information on the package and I do not know how to edit items already in the database. There has been a few times in just this last week where I scanned a product and a completely different product pops up in response. One of my Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bars scans as a yogurt cup for example.
jjamesbond wrote 86 months ago:
Two reasons I may add a duplicate Food!

1. nutritional info not correct on existing post!
2. Ease of input next time I want to add that food to My Foods. In total contrast to the huge database, my foods comprise of limited items, which make it ever so easy to click the few that I intend to add and I am done in a fraction of the time compared to if I were gonn use the regular database, or even most frequently used food.
I certainly hope that no food is deleted from "My Food" which I have set up such that I am the onlt one who sees them and it does not add to the burdon of the existing database!
korygilliam wrote 85 months ago:
Sorry if duplicate suggestion...would be cool to be able to check mark something that identifies the entry as 'per company nutritional fact sheet' and 'per nutritional resouce guide'. That way, when you are looking for the food, it is easy to identify accurate items and also know if you should modify it to correct the data.
ArchyJill wrote 85 months ago:
Almost always it's because of serving size. I weigh everything in grams and while I can convert other weights to grams, it's impossible to convert "1 cup" to grams.
scballou wrote 85 months ago:
I adjusted measurements to something I created earlier... however, I've seen countless questions asking how to delete foods from your lists... surely this can't be impossible. When will we see an update that allows us all to do this??? I just want to delete a duplicate from my foods!
kimi131 wrote 85 months ago:
I don't intentionally make duplicate entries and to my knowledge, I've never made a duplicate. However, when I do run across duplicates, triplicates, fiftycates ;), I check out the multiple entries and choose the one that's most accurate. I am a bit lazy when it comes to editing an entry so I just pick the best one.
smiggy99 wrote 84 months ago:
I have made duplicate entries. I can sometimes match a product but then the serving size is wrong. ie: I have just used the bar code scanner in the iPhone App.Walnuts, Raw, 1oz or 14 Halves. The serving size came back as Quater Cup about 14 halves. 1 cup about 14 halves. 1 container(1 and a halp cup about 14 halves). I would just add another entry for this with a measurment I know is correct. We in the UK dont use Cups (they are for Bra sizes):-)

I think the search engine needs to have different options. ie: Country = UK. Brand = Tesco. Food type - Walnuts.
I think there could also be an eating out option, this. Wetherspoons, Nando's. etc.
sparkalyn wrote 84 months ago:
I don't mind the duplicates so much but it would be great to be able to distinguish between them.

I add duplicates when I'm looking for a non-restaurant food equivalent but can't figure out which of the existing entries is most like mine.

For example a grilled cheese sandwich could be created 50 different ways and have 50 different nutritional values and that's fine. But when I'm looking through the list it would be great to be able to see a description or ingredients list so I could see that number 32 has mayo, cheddar, and was grilled in olive oil without forcing that into the name/title of the food.

I also run into that with subway and other customizable foods.
nosugarcoating wrote 84 months ago:
I haven't created any duplicates (and I do find them confusing too) but something I would love to see implemented is that the basic foods (i.e. mostly fruit, vegetables and generic stuff like eggs chicken breast etc.) always offer grams as a way to measure servings. I'm not American, and we don't use cups here. I often have to click through several entries for the same thing before I find one that will let me enter the serving in grams. It would also be really great if I searched for something basic like 'banana' and a plain banana, not a banana smoothie was the first result.
strongman61 wrote 83 months ago:
Yes, I don't always believe the entries that exist. Just today I looked up Cheerios and the entry in place said 1 cup had 100 calories. That's wrong. I went to the General Mills site and it clearly said 110. That's the latest example I can think of, but I've seen this many times. I don't trust user generated entries. There needs to be some sort of vetting process, users include a link to a trusted site or manufacturer label. A few ideas for PM:

1. Create a feature that users can challenge an existing entry which sends an alert to an editor for vetting.
2. Have a program for superusers, they complete some sort of online training and are then "trusted sources" that can make changes.
3. Users that enter data correctly are awarded points of some sort in exchange for stuff - discounts at Gold's Gym or whatever. Maybe your advertisers would be interested in playing a role.

I think the veracity of data is incredibly important to your business.
strongman61 wrote 83 months ago:
Another one:

4. Allow users to distinguish between vetted entries and user generated ones. A little star or something next to an entry. Maybe there's three kinds of stars: 1) based on the product label, 2) from superusers and 3) from newbies. You can give superusers kudos on the site somehow, social media has proven that people will work for recognition.
Anonymous wrote 37 months ago:
good blog
Anonymous wrote 37 months ago:
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DracoBengali86 wrote 6 months ago:
Almost #4
You found a matching item, but the nutritional contents didn't match. It's a verified item so it can't be edited.

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