DRG™ - Features

  • Since each person has unique characteristics (age, gender, and place of residence) the dietary record is generated based upon probabilities that a food is eaten by a person in a specific gender group, age group, and region. It also accounts for variability in eating patterns by season.
  • Key input parameters for the DRG™ include:
     
    • List of foods of interest for the population;
    • Probability that the food is eaten (by age group/season) as point estimate or distribution constructed from distribution characteristics;
    • If eaten, amount of the food eaten (by age group/season) as point estimate or distribution constructed from distribution characteristics
    • Caloric value of the food (per 100g as eaten).
    • Upper and lower bounds for daily calorie intake (by age and season) for the population under consideration.
  • The DRG™ accommodates 4 levels of telescoping detail in the food list constructed by the user and allows the user to organize the hierarchy options in the model to accommodate the available information (e.g. fish as the highest hierarchy, salmon and trout and halibut as the second level of the hierarchy, flesh and roe as the third level of the hierarchy, and baked or fried as the fourth level of the hierarchy).
  • For both probability of eating and portion size data, point estimates or distributions can be assigned. In addition, the user can access the “user supplied” option which allows the user to insert data points from another mathematical application directly into the DRG™. The following distributions can be constructed within the DRG™ using appropriate distribution characteristics.
     
    • Log Normal
    • Normal
    • Triangular
    • Pareto
    • Uniform
  • To avoid “unreasonable” records, total energy content of the daily record (expressed in calories) is used to eliminate records with exceedingly high or low intake values. Caloric content of all foods on a single day’s dietary record are summed, and the sum is compared to a user-supplied range of acceptable caloric intake (by age and season). Records outside the range are discarded thus providing a boundary governor to filter out “unreasonable” daily dietary records. The records which are discarded from the final record are also retained so that comparison can be made between all generated records and those which were accepted using this boundary governor. This feature is optional.
  • The DRG™ has extensive referencing capabilities built into the application.
     
    • For foods in the food list, the user may record references regarding the data sources, synonyms, and related notes. This is particularly useful when dealing with a compilation of data sources, foods which may be called by several names (e.g. ethnic foods which may have “western” and traditional names), or rare foods which require further definition.
    • For each value (probabilities or intake values), the user may record references or derivations used in considering input. These reference fields are visualized with a “right click” of the mouse, and the references remain tagged to the information even when it is copied.
  • Files generated by the DRG™ can be exported for use in other programs such as Microsoft Excel. The data are not aggregated in any way thus maintaining integrity and allowing the user to see the full distributions of simulated intakes.
  • The report from the DRG™ can be generated to show consequences of filtering by caloric boundaries. Based on this summary (viewed by table or graphics), the user may wish to alter consumption parameters, caloric boundaries, or caloric values assigned to food item(s).