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NCSU Students Hope To Make Dieting Easier With New Device

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The future of dieting may be simpler, thanks to the work of several North Carolina State University students.

A personal digital assistant and bar code scanner make up the prototype for "The Diet Download", a complete diet system.

"It allows you to very easily journal what you're eating and also to understand what is in what you are eating," student Buck Webb said.

The program will eventually store more than 17,000 grocery store items and their nutritional information. It will also store different diet plans. All you have to do is create a meal from the items in memory and the program does the rest.

"It will then talk to your diet plan manager and the diet plan manager will tell you if this meal is OK for you to eat or not," student J.R. Wilson said.

In addition to homemade meals, the students hope to add food from major fast-food chains to their database. The program even has graphs to chart your progress.

"Say you lost a decent amount of weight that week, you can view the nutritional totals for that entire week, so you could hope to mimic what you did that week and lose the same amount of weight," student Nathan Green said.

The students say Diet Download is about saving time.

"Instead of having to write down all the nutritional information, you just zap it with a barcode scanner and it's at your fingertips," Webb said.

Jeremy Maness is the fourth student on the team. Right now, the team is waiting on patent for the Diet Download. They hope to market it to the public one day soon.


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