Food portion sizes and update of McCance and Widdowson’s CoFID

When creating a meal plan, in addition to suggestions of better food options, nutrition professionals also give very specific recommendations when it comes to quantity of foods they should eat.

In order to facilitate the work of our nutrition professionals we’ve added common measures and serving sizes to foods integrated into UK’s database, McCance and Widdowson’s 'composition of foods integrated dataset.


What have we updated?

First of all, the entire database was revised and updated according to its latest edition, in 2015, including all the new and recently reviewed data.

Based on a comprehensive study and evaluation of the information available on the book Food Portion Sizes (Maff Handbook) by Food Standards Agency (2002) we were able to integrate serving sizes and common measures in foods presented in the database.

Why is this new update important?

Nutrition professionals have the capability of translating science-based information to real life recommendations to their patients.

To make this job easier, professionals can now recommend typical measures of foods in their patient’s meal plans. This will allow them to achieve their dietary goals more easily, and be aware of what portions of foods they should actually be eating.

Addition of edible portion of foods

In order to make the database more complete and accurate, we’ve also added edible portion of foods when the information was available in the dataset.

It is stated in the database that:

“Many foods are purchased or served with material that is clearly inedible or material that might be discarded as inedible by some consumers. For the purposes of this dataset ‘waste’ encompasses both types of material, which might include, for example:

  • outer leaves or stalks of vegetables;
  • stones, pips or peel of fruit;
  • nut shells;
  • fish skin and bone;
  • meat fat and bones;
  • liquid content of canned foods

The edible conversion factor allows calculation of the nutrient content of foods when the inedible material is included in the weight and refers to the proportion of edible material remaining after the waste has been removed. The factor will vary between different samples of the same food and these values should be treated as a guide to the typical proportion of inedible waste.”

How to add common measures and portions?

In the section Meals, of the appointment layout, when adding a new food to a meal you need to choose the database CoFID. Once that is done, you just need to add a new food by typing the name you want to add to the meal plan and select the most suitable common measure for your patient’s recommendations.

It is also possible to add common measures when putting together a recipe, just access the left side menu section Recipes and Add new recipe. You can choose any ingredient and add the appropriate common measure in the ingredients section.

This is will allow your patients to better follow your recipes while recreating them at home.


Have any doubts about this update?

Feel free to let us know your feedback and questions so we can continue to improve the software.

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