SousChef: Mobile Meal Recommender System for Older Adults

David Ribeiro, João Machado, Jorge Ribeiro, Maria João M. Vasconcelos, Elsa F. Vieira, Ana Correia de Barros


Nowadays, following a healthy diet is a challenge, either due to the large variety of food and ingredient combination possibilities or due to the lack of knowledge required to make healthy choices. This problem is even more patent amongst older adults. Although some recommender systems and applications have been proposed with aim to monitor calorie consumption and/or to suggest healthy recipes to general consumers, no similar solution was yet presented focused on older adults’ needs. In this work, a mobile meal recommender system, SousChef, for this target group is presented. This system is capable of creating a personalized meal plan based on the information provided by the user, including the anthropometric measures, personal preferences and activity level. The nutritional recommendations and the application was thought and designed for older adults, presenting friendly user interfaces and following the guidelines of a nutritionist. Tests with users were conducted in order to ascertain recipe and nutritional plan suitability as well as usability of the mobile application. Results showed that more than 70% of the older adult participants were satisfied with the meal plan suggestions and with the simplicity of the SousChef application.


  1. Aberg, J. (2006). Dealing with Malnutrition: A Meal Planning System for Elderly. In AAAI Spring Symposium: Argumentation for Consumers of Healthcare, pages. 1-7.
  2. Adomavicius, G., and Tuzhilin, A. (2005). Toward the next generation of recommender systems: A survey of the state-of-the-art and possible extensions. IEEE transactions on knowledge and data engineering 17(6), 734-749.
  3. Bunker, J. P. (2001). The role of medical care in contributing to health improvements within societies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30(6), 1260- 1263.
  4. Candeias, V., Nunes, E., Morais, C., Cabral, M. and Silva, P. R. (2005). Princípios para uma Alimentação Saudável. Lisbon: Direcção Geral de Saúde, page 255.
  5. Espín, V., Hurtado, M. V., and Noguera, M. (2015). Nutrition for Elder Care: a nutritional semantic recommender system for the elderly. Expert Systems.
  6. Hazman, M. and Idrees, A. M. (2015). A healthy nutrition expert system for children. In E-Health and Bioengineering Conference (EHB), 2015, pages 1-4. IEEE.
  7. Kuo, F. F., Li, C. T., Shan, M. K., and Lee, S. Y. (2012). Intelligent menu planning: Recommending set of recipes by ingredients. In Proceedings of the ACM multimedia 2012 workshop on Multimedia for cooking and eating activities, pages 1-6. ACM.
  8. Le Couteur, D. G., Solon-Biet, S., Wahl, D., Cogger, V. C., Willcox, B. J., Willcox, D. C., Raubenheimer, D., and Simpson, S. J. (2016). New Horizons: Dietary protein, ageing and the Okinawan ratio. Age and ageing, page afw069.
  9. Long C. L., Schaffel N., Geiger J..W., Schiller W. R. and Blakemore W. S. (1979). Metabolic response to injury and illness: estimation of energy and protein needs from indirect calorimetry and nitrogen balance. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 3(6):452- 456.
  10. Mika, S. (2011). Challenges for Nutrition Recommender Systems. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Context Aware Intel. Assistance, Berlin, Germany, pages 25-33. Citeseer.
  11. Ministério da Saúde (2006). Tabela da composição de alimentos. Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr Ricardo Jorge. Centro de Segurança Alimentar e Nutrição. 1a Edição. Compil. Ilda Martins; concep., elab. e coord. da edição Andreia Porto e Luísa Oliveira. INSA: Lisboa, p 355. ISBN: 978-972-8643-19-5.
  12. Ministry of Health. (2013). Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Older People: A background paper. Wellington: Ministry of Health. Report, ISBN: 978-0- 478-39399-6.
  13. Murray, C. J., Abraham, J., Ali, M. K., Alvarado, M., Atkinson, C., Baddour, L. M., Bartels, D. H., Benjamin, E. J., Bhalla, K., Birbeck, G., et al. (2013). The state of us health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. Jama, 310(6):591-606.
  14. National Research Council (1989). Recommended Dietary Allowances. 10 ed. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press.
  15. Ramic, E., Pranjic, N., Batic-Mujanovic, O., Karic, E., Alibasic, E., and Alic, A. (2011). The effect of loneliness on malnutrition in elderly population. Medical Archives, 65(2), 92.
  16. Saka, B., Kaya, O., Ozturk, G. B., Erten, N., and Karan, M. A. (2010). Malnutrition in the elderly and its relationship with other geriatric syndromes. Clinical Nutrition, 29, 745-748.
  17. Sezgin, E., and Özkan, S. (2013). A systematic literature review on Health Recommender Systems. In E-Health and Bioengineering Conference (EHB), 2013, pages 1- 4. IEEE.
  18. Tee, K., Moffatt, K., Findlater, L., MacGregor, E., McGrenere, J., Purves, B., and Fels, S. S. (2005). A visual recipe book for persons with language impairments. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, pages 501-510. ACM.
  19. Terrenghi, L., Hilliges, O., and Butz, A. (2007). Kitchen stories: sharing recipes with the Living Cookbook. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 11(5), 409-414.
  20. Tran, Q. T., Calcaterra, G., and Mynatt, E. D. (2005). Cook's collage. In Home-Oriented Informatics and Telematics, pages 15-32. Springer.
  21. Wahlqvist, M. L., Kouris-Blazos, A. and Savige, S. (2002). Food-based dietary guidelines for older adults: healthy ageing and prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases. In Keep fit for life: Meeting the nutritional needs of older persons, pages 81-111. Geneva Switzerland: World Health Organisation 2002. ISBN 92 4 156210 2.
  22. World Health Organization (2002). Keep fit for life: meeting the nutritional needs of older persons. In Keep fit for life: Meeting the nutritional needs of older persons. World Health Organisation 2002. ISBN 92 4 156210 2.
  23. World Health Organization (2010). Definition of an older or elderly person. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2010. /en/index.html [acessed 20/03/2017].

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Ribeiro D., Machado J., Ribeiro J., Vasconcelos M., Vieira E. and Correia de Barros A. (2017). SousChef: Mobile Meal Recommender System for Older Adults . In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE, ISBN 978-989-758-251-6, pages 36-45. DOI: 10.5220/0006281900360045

in Bibtex Style

author={David Ribeiro and João Machado and Jorge Ribeiro and Maria João M. Vasconcelos and Elsa F. Vieira and Ana Correia de Barros},
title={SousChef: Mobile Meal Recommender System for Older Adults},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health - Volume 1: ICT4AWE,
TI - SousChef: Mobile Meal Recommender System for Older Adults
SN - 978-989-758-251-6
AU - Ribeiro D.
AU - Machado J.
AU - Ribeiro J.
AU - Vasconcelos M.
AU - Vieira E.
AU - Correia de Barros A.
PY - 2017
SP - 36
EP - 45
DO - 10.5220/0006281900360045