Methods to Estimate the Probability of Nutritional Adequacy of Selective Menus.
MASSACHUSETTS UNIV AMHERST
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The report presents a routine computational procedure for the evaluation of the nutrient distribution in meals and the associated joint probability of nutritional adequacy of the meals selected from a selective menu. A tutorial review of the mathematical statistical model pertinent to the case is presented. It is shown that selection probabilities estimated from sales figures and the nutrient composition of the menu items involved are sufficient to estimate the parameters of the multivariate normal probability distribution of the nutrients in the meals. An approximation technique is presented to estimate the lower bound of the multivariate probability integral which is taken as the joint probability measure of nutritional adequacy. The application of the method depends on the ability to construct sample spaces from the items of the selective menu and a number of of feasible procedures are listed. Experimental analysis of realistic data shows estimates of the joint probability of nutritional adequacy in the function of various selection and dietary allowance assumptions. The results are compared with published data on student meals which were found to be nutritionally inadequate in terms of the modeling assumptions and data. Author
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition