Launched on March 8, the Challenge is an initiative of the U.S.D.A.’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services department designed to spur the creation of innovative, fun and engaging applications or games that encourage children to eat more healthfully and be more physically active.
The U.S.D.A. said the purpose of the Challenge is to develop new and innovative technology to reach children using the U.S.D.A. nutrition dataset found at www.data.gov/details/1294. In addition, the Challenge will explore ways to:
• increase consumption of whole grains, fruit and vegetables, low- or non-fat milk, and lean sources of protein.
• develop contemporary and relevant nutrition education tools for children.
• address calorie intake and food portion sizes; and
• increase physical activity.
“The demand for innovative and relevant nutrition education technologies is needed to address the epidemic rates of obesity within the United States,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Developers, programmers, highly motivated gamers and the general public are invited to develop educational games and applications that are based on the Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Dataset. The data has been pre-calculated for common portion sizes and portion increments, which will allow developers to streamline their programming. The calories from solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol in each portion size have also been pre-calculated to simplify the calorie calculations.”
The U.S.D.A. said Challenge participants will own the intellectual property rights to submitted applications but the U.S.D.A. will maintain a royalty free license to post or link to the application on the official U.S.D.A. and nutritional partner web sites and make it publically available, if desired.