A movement is underway in the United States to reintroduce schools and families to freshly prepared meals. Last month, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the “Let’s Move” campaign, an effort to raise awareness of and access to fresh food in schools and in our communities. The goal of the campaign is to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation. This Friday, Chef Jamie Oliver’s new television show Food Revolution will take us inside a few of America’s school cafeterias and classrooms in an effort to fulfill his wish to teach every child about food.

Wolfram|Alpha is already being used as a learning tool in schools to tackle subject areas such as math, science, social studies, and more. But did you know that Wolfram|Alpha contains a number of tools to help schools and families successfully start their own nutrition and wellness revolutions?

Imagine if students had the opportunity to compare the nutritional values of lunch options and make informed decisions before ever hitting the cafeteria. For example, students can go online to Wolfram|Alpha and compare grilled chicken breast to a corn dog. Wolfram|Alpha provides them with a nutrition label for each item, and shows a side-by-side comparison of nutritional values such as fats, proteins, and vitamins in each food option. Click the image below to see the full results.

Comparing the nutrition values of a chicken breast and a corn dog in Wolfram|Alpha


We’ve previously blogged in-depth about a number of these tools, like calculating and comparing the nutritional values of foods and how Wolfram|Alpha can quickly generate nutrition labels that can be displayed in the cafeteria or on the refrigerator. We invite you to explore these topics further.

In addition to food and nutrition data, Wolfram|Alpha can provide our communities health and medicine tools for healthy living such as physical activity calculators, body measurements, and more. If you’re joining the movement to focus on nutrition and fitness in your community, we want to hear about it. Feel free to share your stories and how you’re using Wolfram|Alpha as a tool for healthy living in the comments section below.

6 Comments

I’m using Wolfram Alpha to calculate calories for thinks I’m cooking by putting in all the ingredients separated by plus signs. The only thing I can’t figure out how to do is input serving sizes. I tried surrounding the whole thing by parenthesis and adding /5 but that didn’t work.

For example, I make Alton Brown’s granola every Sunday and it lasts all week.

I know that I could just divide each ingredient’s quantity by 5, but I feel like there is a better way. 1/3 cup is easy to convert to decimal in my head, but 1/15 cup is not so easy.

Posted by John Davies March 28, 2010 at 3:19 pm Reply

1/15 equals 1/3 times 1/5, or 0.2

Posted by ligia albuquerque March 31, 2010 at 2:54 pm Reply

Yet, taking this values only for a good diet is by far not enough. Some fat is quickly used some other is deposited, pending upon many factors. It is a difficult task to set this by mathematic formulas, instead, the W|A approach may be broaden by including population/geographic data.
Example: compare an usual daily menu of a German (living in Bavaria) with same of an American (living in NY); after that, look at the numbers of the obese in those areas. Combination of fat and other ingredients in the menus leads to different results.

Posted by LeGrig March 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm Reply

No, 1/15 is .067

The point is not whether I can calculate 1/15 but how I can easily calculate calories per portion.

And yes, just calculating calories a rough estimate of how to handle a diet. But other than hiring a team of scientists to run studies for me, it will have to do.

Posted by John Davies April 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm Reply

The problem is beyond coloric intake. It is a problem of toxic intake and a recombination of processesd food additives that in the singular appear inncuous but in the aggregate produce long term health problems poorly understood and completely unanticpated by consumers, particularly youth. Certainly, we can applaud labeling requirements but it is very difficult to see how labeling can be expected to address the adverse health impact of several generations of processed foods.

We need an entirely new paradigm, accessible and well understood by the public to measure the cumulative impacts of the consumption of foods adulterated adulterated by millions of tons of chemicals – both in the short and long term.

We need to do this in oder to give our children effective tools to recover and maintain their collective health.

A perfect project for a new kind of science.

Posted by David James April 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm Reply

The point is not whether I can calculate 1/15 but how I can easily calculate calories per portion.

And yes, just calculating calories a rough estimate of how to handle a diet. But other than hiring a team of scientists to run studies for me, it will have to do.

Posted by oto kiralama April 21, 2010 at 2:44 am Reply
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