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I really do not know where to place this question but since this is food related might as well post it here. I am currently making a web application regarding meal plans where the User will input his BMI, and from that I should be able to generate a meal plan for him/her. my question is, is knowing the persons age,bmi and allergy enough to make him a weekly meal plan?

also how would I create plans for a specific with his given info? what are the things I should do or consider?

links of how to create a nutritious meal for person would be highly appreciated.

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closed as off topic by Jefromi, ElendilTheTall, Mien, KatieK, TFD Oct 16 '12 at 21:15

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Just FYI, there are several problems with BMI as a measurement: livestrong.com/article/93472-problems-bmi –  Stefano Oct 16 '12 at 14:01
    
what are some needed info for creating meal plans? –  user759630 Oct 16 '12 at 14:04
    
Amount they eat (calories?), dietary requirements (my wife needs a high iron diet for example), taste preferences, required prep time, preferred meals.... sounds complicated... –  talon8 Oct 16 '12 at 14:40
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you would be a lot better off having the person choose things they like from a list (on a website perhaps) and then your software could choose the amount of it they need, or could perhaps do some mix-and-match to ensure proper nutrients at each meal. Eg mac and cheese needs veggies with it for vitamin c, spaghetti bolognese does not. Quantities you could work out from calorie needs, let the person pick the food they like. –  Kate Gregory Oct 16 '12 at 14:45
    
Welcome to the site! Unfortunately, I'm fairly sure this is off-topic, and I've voted to close. We don't do nutrition here (see the faq), and beyond that, the general question of "how to plan a meal" is very broad, so it's not very well suited to a single question. As the faq say, "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." (This is also a reason we close questions.) If you have more specific questions, please do post them –  Jefromi Oct 16 '12 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm going to answer the first (and possibly third) part of your question:

is knowing the persons age,bmi and allergy enough to make him a weekly meal plan?

And to that I can quite easily say no, it isn't. Even if we were to take 'allery' to be all sort of food restrictions (eg, religious (Kosher, Halal), intolerances, vegan, etc.), and ignore the medical/nutritional issues, just some of the considerations that I can think of would be:

  • What sort of activities does this person do? A person who sits all day in an office is going to need a different caloric intake than a tradesman who's on their feet all day.

  • What are the person's skills? If you have a novice cook, you're not going to get them to cook complex things ... yet someone who loves to cook might be put off by things that are too simplistic. Even something as simple as dicing an onion ... someone unskilled with dull knives might take 10-20 min to do a bad job (from crying, etc.), then someone with with skill and good knives could get it done in under a minute.

  • What other resources are we dealing with? It could be appliances to work with (eg, not everyone has an oven, much less a food processor) ... or time, or money, etc.

  • What time of year is it, and where do they live? Not all places have access to fresh vegetables year round, and other places may not have access to canned or frozen. We tend to select 'lighter' foods and eat less when it's hot, and we may be more inclined to go with uncooked preparations, but cold meals aren't as desirable in the middle of winter.

  • What does the person like to eat? Someone who loves italian food might not like indian, and visa versa

And that's only scratching the surface.

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