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In this final report, I will highlight some important points that came out of the pilot user studies which we should consider as we continue into the larger user studies. Many of the points are also expanded upon in the Project Journal and User Study Lessons.
The first week of data from both pilots was not very useful. We should obtain a pantry and freezer inventories at the beginning of data collection to improve our inferences.
Some of the receipts seemed to reflect purchases of large amounts of food, as if for a group of people or party. We may also want to ask participants if any groceries for the week were bought for people outside of the household (e.g. guests).
The concept of a dynamic food consumption questionnaire is something we may want to consider implementing. A dynamic questionnaire is questionnaire that would be tailored for the tastes and needs of the participants. From the pilot, it appeared that households have foods that they often repeat and foods that they consistently avoid, and occasionally there were food items consumed that we do not have listed, such as different ethnic foods, which the participants often ate and purchased. A dynamic questionnaire could include specialized ethnic foods, in addition to foods by their season. (Foods will be more plentiful and economical, and thus greater chance of consumption, if they are in season). For these reasons, a dynamic questionnaire could more accurately reflect the consumption of the participants.
Even if we implement a dynamic food consumption questionnaire, We should investigate the source of our food questionnaire more and learn about how food questionnaires/surveys are designed. As Dr. Sabry informed us, different surveys target different information, and we should know how our model was designed. We can try to ask Gladys Block since she has done extensive work with food surveys.
The food consumption questionnaires in the form of a tally seem to be most accurate and not much more work for the participants. We should continue to use them.
It is very important that our OCR program be expanded to read other receipts besides Albertsons. From our pilots, each of our participants consistently bought groceries from at least 2 different grocery stores, and Albertsons was not always among them.
Finally, we should seriously investigate Dr. Sabry's suggestions regarding nutrient analysis (see Journal Entry Week 10 ), learn more abut nutrient utilization, and determine if we will continue with the analysis. If we continue with the analysis, we should do analysis of both suggestions and purchased foods for better transparency. Alternatives of nutrient analysis could be fat content analysis and calories amount analysis. We need to investigate those two areas as well.
Our team has many factors which we must investigate in order to strengthen our project and device. I hope the work I did this summer has helped us shape the project and move it in a positive direction.